Biometrics passenger processing trial begins at Perth Airport
International passengers travelling on selected Singapore Airlines flights from Perth Airport have begun using new biometric technology delivered by Amadeus.
On a trial basis, the solution will simplify the airport journey and effectively make a passenger’s face their boarding pass.
Perth Airport chief executive, Kevin Brown, said the trial is part of a move toward greater use of touchless technology and enables a more seamless journey for passengers from check-in to boarding.
“The recently installed self-check-in kiosks and bag drop units enable passengers to check-in and facilitate bag drop independently without the intervention of airline staff – therefore improving passenger flow while reducing processing time and queuing.
“The new facial recognition technology builds on this concept,” Brown explained.
“This process eliminates the need for a physical boarding pass and the passport checks at both the auto bag drop and boarding gate and will reduce the possibility of delays which are sometimes encountered due to manual document checks.
“We have an uncompromising stance on safety and security and the adoption of the new technology enhances our processes while also improving the customer experience and ease of processing by automating passenger identification.
“The passenger experience is paramount, and this technology will allow us to serve more passengers to a higher standard, supporting the growth of our airport.”
Perth Airport recently converted 16 conventional check-in counters at T1 International into 36 new self-check-in kiosks and 16 auto bag drop units – all of which have the capability of biometric processing.
The project builds on the use of a cloud-based passenger handling platform which means the location can rapidly scale services to match peaks and troughs in demand.
The trial will see volunteer passengers check-in at one of the biometric enabled kiosks and, with their consent, create a biometric token which verifies the booking details, facial image and passport.
At the auto bag drop, the passenger is biometrically identified and validated, removing the need for passengers to present a boarding pass.
When it is time to board the aircraft, the passenger approaches the boarding gate, the biometric camera will automatically identify them using their biometric token and validate against the respective airline’s departure control system (DCS).
On successful validation, the boarding gate opens, the passenger is marked as ‘boarded’ in the airline’s DCS and the passenger can proceed to board the aircraft.
Singapore Airlines regional vice president south-west Pacific, Louis Arul, welcomed the opportunity to work closely with long-time partner Perth Airport to trial the new biometric technology.
“For 55 years we’ve enjoyed a strong relationship with Perth Airport, working together to find ways to improve our mutual customer’s travel experience.
“Being part of the trial for new biometric technology at Perth Airport reinforces our commitment to exploring and supporting new technologies that enhance our customer’s experience on the ground and in the sky.
“This is the beginning of a new future for the passenger experience at airports and we look forward to working with Perth Airport to deliver a seamless experience for customers,” Arul said.
The biometric token is protected and stored on a secure server for a very limited period and deleted after the passenger boards the flight or 24 hours after creation of the token.
Currently, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines are using the new self-service kiosks and bag drop units, with Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Malaysia Airlines to transition shortly.
Sarah Samuel, senior vice president, airport and airline operations, APAC, Amadeus said by applying the latest innovations in biometric identification, Perth Airport is responding to passenger needs with an easier and smoother bag drop and boarding process.
“Automating document checks with biometrics is the biggest near-term opportunity for airports and airlines seeking to simplify how passengers move through the airport.
“Amadeus takes an end-to-end approach to biometrics covering the passenger’s entire airport journey, with technology that can be deployed once and easily adopted by any airline,” concluded Samuel.