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US and UK streamline airline boarding process with biometric checks.

Posted on 16-Mar-2018 13:01:34

Airport queue.jpgOrlando International Airport is using the latest security technology to streamline the boarding process at its airport, merging its usual procedures with a biometric exit check carried out shortly before departure. Currently only being used on British Airways’ flights between the airport and and London Gatwick, the biometric checks removes the need for customers to fumble for boarding cards and passports to board the plane and can instead just look into a camera. The initial image, which confirms identity and authorisation to travel, is taken at check in.

The London Gatwick and Orlando International Airport 90-day trial has been introduced following a link-up with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) and is offered on a voluntary basis to passengers, with gates opening a matter of seconds after they look into the camera.

Biometric check on BA flight.jpg

Making the arrangement possible, the technology company that manufactures the gates, SITA, has been granted access to US Customs and Border Protection’s IT system’s data and gives passengers an insight into how seamless airline travel could be one day. The system can be easily adapted and implemented by other airlines.

“It is easy, fast and most importantly, secure. While we are currently using SITA’s gates for biometric exit with @British_Airways, they are common-use boarding gates so they can be easily used by other airlines at MCO,” said John Newsome, GOAA’s chief information officer.

Not the first airport to use biometric technology for their security operations, Transport Security World last year reported on Australia’s intention to use biometric passes for restricted areas. The initiative, initially planned for use by workers wishing to enter closed off sections of the country’s airports, would be policed with the use of biometric cards that contain the bearer's unique physical and behavioural traits. This includes fingerprint data, retina and iris scans and voice recognition, though facial patterns and body movement are also covered by the technology.

Commenting on the UK-Florida biometric technology, which is offered on a voluntary basis to passengers, British Airways manager of digital airport, Raoul Cooper, said its work with SITA enabled it to look into other methods of incorporating biometric checks into its operations. “Together we have designed a really smooth and secure departure process for our customers. This complements the learning and insight we have gained in Los Angeles where a similar technology trial is under way,” said Cooper.

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Topics: AirportSecurity

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Dave Songer
Dave Songer