Innovations in airports, aviation of the new era

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Innovations in airports, aviation of the new era
November 20, 2018

Using the latest biometric technology - a mixture of iris and facial recognition - passengers can check their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter Vip rooms and board their flights

Over the next three years, 77% of the airports and 71% of the airlines will include biometric identification programs for passengers, a technology that the main actors in the aviation industry identify as a priority to offer safe and easy trips to users. .
Thus, according to research from the technology services consultancy for the industry, SITA, identity management solutions, including biometric systems, that eliminate the need for manual verification.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA, noted, however, that "integration generates challenges and the variety of legislative demands can be daunting for airlines and airports." Therefore, he urged airlines, airports, governments and other industry suppliers to "collaborate and use technology to automate, and even eliminate, tedious processes."

The most widespread technology is the verification of identity in the automatic check-in terminals, which is already in use in 41% of airports, according to the report, while 74% have plans to deploy it before 2021.

Self-boarding doors that use biometrics as identification, replacing documentation such as the passport, will also become commonplace in the next three years, with 59% of airports and 63% of airlines expecting to use them.

A great example of innovation is Emirates, the airline is accelerating the pace to launch the first "biometric route" in the world, which will allow it to offer its customers an even easier and smoother trip from the international airport that the airline owns in its Hub. from Dubai,

Using the latest biometric technology - a mixture of iris and facial recognition - Emirates passengers will be able to check their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Vip Lounge in Emirates and board their flights by simply walking through the airport.

The latest biometric equipment has already been installed in Emirates Terminal 3, at the Dubai International Airport. These equipment can be found at some check-in counters, in the Emirates Vip Room of Concourse B for premium passengers, as well as at selected boarding gates. The areas that have biometric equipment will be clearly marked.

The "biometric route" from Emirates will improve the customer experience and passenger flow through the airport with fewer document controls and fewer queues. Likewise, being able to track passengers "live" will also improve the airline's safety and capacity to provide even better and more personalized services. For example, allow the Emirates airport team to locate and help customers who arrive late, preventing them from losing their flights.

The "biometric route" of the airline will cover departures, arrivals, transit zones, connections with drivers and access to Vip Rooms in Dubai. Initially it will be focused on First Class and Executive travelers, although the intention of Emirates is to extend this service to passengers of Economy Class in Dubai. And in the future, potentially to other airports outside of Dubai, including its own facilities for the registration of the crew.

Tests in the "smart tunnel"
On October 10 trials began for the "Smart Tunnel", a project of the Directorate General of Residence and Foreign Affairs in Dubai (for its acronym in English, GDRFA), in collaboration with Emirates. It is a passport control pioneer in the world, where passengers simply walk through a tunnel and without human intervention or a stamp on the physical passport, can get direct authorization from the immigration authorities. Once the internal tests have been completed, Emirates will soon launch tests for biometric control in other key points of the airport such as check-in counters, VIP Rooms or boarding gates. And later, at the counters and transit doors, and in his chauffeur services. All biometric data will be stored in the GDRFA, and the consent of the guests invited to participate in the tests will be requested.

​Adel Al Redha, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Emirates, said: "Advised by our president, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates continuously innovates and strives to improve the day-to-day of our business. After extensive research and evaluation of numerous technologies and new proposals to improve the journey of our passengers, we are satisfied with the preliminary work we have done and are ready to begin the live tests of the world's first biometric route in the Terminal 3 of Emirates".


"These innovative initiatives are the result of close collaboration with our stakeholders, especially the GDRFA, which has been instrumental in the program to successfully complete the biometric route. The recent launch of the "Smart Tunnel" test is a great achievement and clearly demonstrates the collaborative nature of innovation at the Dubai airport. All systems will be linked together to offer a better service to our customers and a happier trip, whether arriving, leaving or stopping in Dubai. This is very much in line with Emirates' 'Fly Better' brand commitment. Soon we will invite customers to participate in the tests of our biometric route, and we hope to receive their opinions".


Airlines and airports also shuffle other technologies for managing passenger identity. An example is blockchain; 40% of airlines and 36% of airports believe that the main benefit that this technology can provide is to streamline the identification process by reducing the need for multiple controls.



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