AENA and Vueling Airlines are moving forward with a major biometric processing pilot at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport in Spain. The program will cover every step of the passenger journey, and allow travelers to use facial recognition to check in, drop their bags, pass through security, and eventually board their planes.
Participation in the program is strictly voluntary, though those who opt-in will have access to dedicated security and boarding lanes. Anyone interested in signing up will be able to do so remotely through the AENA app, or in-person at a pair of self-service kiosks that have been installed gear gate B35 in Barcelona. In either case, passengers will need to fill in a form and register their facial biometrics to their account.
Once that process is complete, passengers will no longer need to present an identity document to airport staff at security checkpoints. Instead, cameras installed at those checkpoints will verify people’s identities with only a facial recognition scan. The AENA app will link someone’s facial biometrics to their passport, but that process only needs to be completed once if passengers consent to the use of their data for future flights.
The pilot is being carried out with a number of technology partners, including Easier, IDEMIA, Indra, Materna IPS, and Mobbeel. However, AENA is taking on sole responsibility for all of the biometric information collected through the program. The company is the owner of the database, which is being run in accordance with Europe’s latest GDPR data privacy regulations.
“This technology will significantly improve the passenger experience at our airports, and these projects allow us to speed up its deployment,” said AENA CGO and Innovation, Sustainability, and Customer Experience Director Amparo Brea. “We provide passengers with tools that allow them to pre-empt part of the documentation checks currently carried out at the airport, so they can move through it more securely, smoothly and comfortably.”
AENA recently partnered with FacePhi to enable face-based onboarding for its customers. The company has carried out biometric screening pilots at other airports, though the Barcelona installation is the first to cover the full passenger journey, including the self-bag drop station.
Source: International Airport Review
January 4, 2022 – by Eric Weiss