A new trial, called ‘miSense’, has been launched at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 3 using the latest biometric technologies to simplify a passenger’s journey through the airport while further strengthening levels of security.
The project was officially opened by the Minister for Immigration, Liam Byrne MP, and Heathrow CEO, Tony Douglas.
Having enrolled in miSense himself, Liam Byrne MP said: “Biometric ID systems are fundamental to securing our borders in a more mobile age. They are crucial to our plans for counting everyone in and out of the country. This proof of concept shows just how well the technology can work.”
The Trial, which will run until the end of January 2007, in conjunction with the airport authorities and immigration services of the U.K, Dubai and Hong Kong, the airlines Emirates and Cathay Pacific, and leading companies engaged in the Immigration and Border Security Industry.
Passengers travelling on selected Cathay Pacific and Emirates flights are being invited to participate in the first part of the miSense trial at check-in by scanning their passport and right index fingerprint into a specially designed miSense self-service kiosk. This information then becomes a passenger’s secure ‘virtual key’ which will allow them swift access to security control and aircraft boarding using their fingerprint.
The second part of the trial, miSenseplus, also uses biometric information, to trial an international registered traveller programme and fast path on departures and arrival immigration in the UK.
Anyone flying out of T3 can enrol in miSenseplus as long as they are a European Economic Area National, hold a passport valid for at least six months, be aged 18 or over and satisfy UK Government background checks. Passengers will have 13 biometrics captures (10 fingerprints, 2 irises and 1 facial image).
Participating in the trial is easy, free of charge and only takes a few minutes to enrol. Once enrolled, participants will receive a miSenseplus membership card which will allow them to enjoy fast track immigration clearance when arriving and departing.
The third part of the trial, miSenseallclear, involves the testing of interactive Advance Passenger Information (iAPI) for the UK authorities. iAPI is the capability of automatically providing border control agencies with intelligence prior to passengers boarding a plane. As each passenger checks-in, this system enables real-time interaction between airline and government systems. iAPI is already well established in countries such as Australia, Bahrain, Kuwait and New Zealand, where it is used to issue the “authority to carry” at the point of check-in. This trial will provide insight into how iAPI could be implemented in the UK.
miSense is part of IATA’s Simplifying Passenger Travel Programme, and involves a number of key airport, airline, government and technology partners, including Accenture, BAA, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, the Home Office, IER, Raytheon Systems Limited, Sagem Défense Sécurité and SITA.
Extensive research into passenger acceptability and technical performance will be conducted during the trial and used to inform the future design and operation of both airport and border control facilities and services