Airports keen on more biometric technology

Biometric tech will identify passengers at self-service kiosks, while AI will be used for business analytics

Research by IT provider SITA has revealed biometric technologies is a priority for airlines and airports as they try to secure the travel industry using biometric ID management.

The company's 2018 SITA Air Transport IT Insights report revealed that 77% of the world's airports and 71% of airlines are investing heavily in biometric tech research and development to secure passenger throughput.

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"Secure and seamless travel is a must for the air transport industry," Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA said. "It is encouraging to see that both airlines and airports are investing in biometric technology to deliver a secure, paperless way to identify passengers across multiple steps of the journey. We have already seen great success where we have implemented it at airports across the world."

The most popular implementations of biometric identification technologies will be to determine a passenger's identity at self-service kiosks. According to SITA, 41% of airports have already implemented some sort of biometric identity system, while almost three quarters plan to have deployed such technologies by the end of 2021.

Self-boarding gates are another area travel-related businesses are exploring. In the next three years, 59% of airports and 63% of airlines are expected to have rolled out such technologies, while blockchain will be used by 40% of airlines and 36% of airports to verify a passenger's identity by 2021.

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AI, unsurprisingly, is also a hot trend in the air travel space. 85% of airlines and 79% of airports are planning to use the technology for business analytics or customer service in the next three years. 

"As the research shows, integration causes challenges and the variety of legislative demands can be daunting for airlines and airports," Dalibard added.

"To deliver a seamless passenger experience, we must all collaborate airlines, airports, governments and industry suppliers and use technology to automate, and even eliminate, tedious processes. We achieve the best results when we work together, this has been most apparent when we incorporate secure biometrics into the passenger journey."

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