If you have recently travelled from any airport in the world, you would have noticed an obvious change in the entire security and boarding process. I’m talking about Biometrics here.
During the past few months, it has become clearer than ever before that biometrics technology will be at the heart of the airport of tomorrow.
A number of international airports, including the likes of Changi Airport, Singapore, Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru and Hong Kong International Airport, have emerged as front-runners in Asia, with all three committing to major biometrics-related projects that will play a crucial role in shaping the passenger experience.
And not just for the travellers, biometric solutions have begun revolutionizing the airport experience for all its stakeholders involved – airlines, airport operations, vendors, government, and law enforcement agencies.
Up until about five years ago, biometrics was what we used in our mobile devices. Remember using your fingerprints to unlock your phones?
Well today biometrics and facial recognition is bent on creating a seamless digital transformation in the aviation environment. This will enable a paperless, biometric-enabled passenger journey from registration to boarding. Facial recognition technology will identify passengers as they move through the different airport touch points, removing the need to present boarding passes, travel documents or passports at every stage.
And the focus on making travellers safer and the customer experience more convenient throughout the aviation journey – everything from check-in, bag-checks and security to airport shopping is taking shape.
Security is, of course, of the utmost importance, and rightly so – given the times we live in today.
Airport Security Groups along with Customs and Border Protection personnel are working daily (and nightly) to keep our skies safe, which is why biometrics is so important to the security process.
Having the ability to instantly verify that documents are valid and to match the identity and confirmed reservation of the traveller ensures that only genuine passengers move towards the boarding gates on the other side of the security line.
Biometric security enhancements are more accurate at screening individuals as well as quicker to get the lines moving faster through security.
With the ability to predict wait times, passengers are able to spend more time doing what they choose, from relaxing in the lounge, to visiting duty-free shops.
Big change cannot be driven solely by the technology alone. More collaboration among industry stakeholders is critical to the success of the digital revolution in commercial aviation, for a better customer experience, improved commerce, cost and time-savings, optimized security and smoother airport operations.
Next time you’re at the airport, think about how biometrics could be improving airport operations, and making your life more secure.