The number of biometric touchpoints in airports will rise 320 percent over the decade, according to a new forecast from Valour Consultancy and P.A.ID Strategies.
The firms estimate that there were 12,079 biometric touchpoints at airports around the world at the end of 2020, and that this number will increase to nearly 51,000 by 2030. Notably, the increasing use of biometric bag-drop will make it a particularly lucrative biometric touchpoint for airports, generating $502 million in revenues over the forecast period.
According to the new report – entitled “The Seamless Passenger Journey in Smart Airports” – automated e-gates will also see considerable adoption of biometric tech over the forecast period. Biometric technology will be in place at 78 percent of self-boarding gates by 2030, the report predicts.
Other application areas for biometrics in the airport include check-in, lounge access, immigration and customs, and, of course, security screening – already a key focus area for government agencies like US Customs and Border Protection, whose rapidly-expanding Simplified Arrival platform uses facial recognition to identify travelers.
While the COVID-19 has profoundly disrupted international travel, Valour Consultancy and P.A.ID Strategies suggest that it has actually resulted in an uptick in biometric adoption at airports around the world. As report co-author Craig Foster explained in a statement announcing the report, “While many installations in 2020 were part of projects initiated pre-COVID, growth towards the end of the year was aided by airports and airlines investing to encourage travellers back and provide safety reassurance.”
Another important driver is the European Union’s impending deadline for its Entry-Exit System, which “is boosting installation of immigration kiosks and smart border infrastructure and platforms,” according to another of the report’s authors, John Devlin.
The report is in line with earlier forecasts from the likes of Frost & Sullivan and Acuity Market Intelligence, with the latter having predicted in 2019 that the total number of biometric touchpoints in airports would see a 27 percent annual growth rate between that year and 2022. More recently, SITA’s Air Transit IT Insights report, published earlier this year, also suggested that the pandemic had accelerated digital transformation at airports, and predicted rising adoption of biometric boarding gates, among other innovations, over the next couple of years.
October 18, 2021 – by Alex Perala