Airport Business

JUN-JUL 2018

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12 airportbusiness June/July 2018 TECHNOLOGY One of the bigger challenges with widespread biometrics usage in the U.S. are the legacy systems in use at airports. Farrell said one option is to use common use system at airports and configure it in a way to avoid making airlines change their backend systems. "We never actually store the biometric information in the airline system. It's sent directly to CBP. CBP does the matching and we do the integration with the airlines systems with the common use platform to ensure that it's done in a way to make sure the airlines don't need to upgrade their systems." Most airport gates in the U.S. should be able to handle the additional equipment, Farrell said. The equipment is relatively compact and should fit in most boarding areas. "It's deployed in a way that's going to maximize the efficiency of the airline's operation and boarding and at the other passenger touchpoints," he said. Paying for the equipment is going to come down to a case by case basis. Farrell said some airports will invest in the biometric equipment while other with a dominant air carrier can expect to see the airline lead the charge. Farrell said some airlines are waiting to see if biometric boarding is mandated by CBP and if it will provide funding. Other airlines are being proactive, but it's likely the industry will end up paying for the infrastructure. "If you look at the automated passport control rollouts in the U.S., the equipment was purchased by the airports even though they're sitting in the customs hall and they're basically implementing a border management asset," he said. "The airports were willing to make that investment because it helped them with a customer service issue, which was people were getting backed up at immigration, sometimes for hours on end, which is not a good thing for the airport because people were waiting in line rather than shopping or enjoying the experience of the airport and it creates a bad overall impression of the airport." Farrell said airports should get experience with the biometrics equipment and how it works before looking at larger rollouts. "Learn through doing or through observation of what others are doing that's successful," he said. "Then make sure when you deploy this you do it in a way which is really adapted to the environment that you have and the operating model of your customers, the airlines." LUFTHANSA EMBRACES BIOMETRICS AT LAX The Lufthansa Group launched biometric boarding trial at Los Angeles International Airport in March. Passengers approach the gate and a camera captures their image and sends it to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection database, which verifies their identity. The airline was able to fill an Airbus A380 in 20 minutes while trialing the system. Amadeus, Vision Box and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) all took part in the trial. Bjoern Becker, senior director, product management ground and digital services for Lufthansa, said the airline opted for biometrics to enhance its ground operations and take a proactive approach to allow for more efficient boarding. "For us it's a perfect service," he said. "It makes things easier for the customers and more efficient for us so there's absolutely no reason for us to not be using this." Lufthansa partnered with CBP, Amadeus, Vision Box and LAX on the biometric boarding project, which only took three months to complete. Biometrics is a complex system, but Becker said the airline is comfortable with the technology because it started using it for lounge access. Passengers have been very accepting of the technology and willing to embrace it. Becker the concerns about data security are also mitigated because the system doesn't collect and store new data on passengers. "We don't use any data that hasn't been used before," he said. "These pictures are taken and sent to the CBP, who matches it against their existing database, so there's no data that doesn't already exist in their system." 75% of smartphones will have fingerprint sensors by 2020 63% of airports plan biometric ID management investment by 2020 43% of airlines plan biometric ID investment by 2020 78% of airports state improved passenger experience as a very important driver to improve passenger identity management 59% of airlines state improved passenger experience as a very important driver to improve passenger identity management 57% of passengers would definitely use biometrics for ID Source: Sita Mexico deployed biometrics kiosks at several airports in 2018. SITA

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