Smart biometrics take air passengers from check-in to boarding

Passengers travelling through Brisbane Airport in Australia are being invited to take part in a trial of facial recognition technology that replaces the usual check-in and boarding processes.

Smart Path from air transport IT provider SITA uses biometric technology which allows passengers to present their details at a self-service kiosk at check-in and then, when ready to board, use an automated boarding gate to be verified using face recognition technology to access the aircraft.

The technology integrates with the airport’s existing common-use infrastructure, such as check-in kiosks and boarding gates, which means that it can be used by any airline that operates on a common-use kiosk.

With Smart Path, once travel documents are linked to the biometric at check-in, the passenger can complete the boarding process without the need to present a boarding pass, passport or travel documents.

Smart Path can also be extended throughout the airport to include any other processes and checkpoints that require document checks.

Passengers flying with Air New Zealand are the first to trial Smart Path at Brisbane Airport, but there are plans to expand the service to more international airlines in the coming months.

Roel Hellemons, general manager of Strategic Planning and Development at Brisbane Airport Corporation, described the trial as “a great opportunity for passengers to help shape the future of travel”.

He added: “We’re always striving to improve the airport experience at Brisbane Airport and this trial will allow us to test and refine new technology that we hope will make standard check-in and boarding processes more efficient and secure in the very near future.”

Sumesh Patel, SITA president in the Asia Pacific region, said: “Australia has long been recognised as a leader in secure border management and passenger processing. Now Brisbane Airport is leading the way with SITA Smart Path. This is a single, secure, self-service process which simplifies passenger processing for everyone — airlines, airports and border authorities. It is early days at Brisbane Airport but already the response from passengers has been positive.”

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