Airline leaders in the aviation industry are concerned about managing increasing passenger volumes, and are looking to biometrics as a solution, reports the Airline Passenger Experience Association (or ‘APEX’).
Reporting from the recent A4# Aviation Summit, APEX’s Marisa Garcia cites a panel discussion tackling the future challenges of Europe’s airlines, noting that World Travel & Tourism Council president Gloria Guevara Manzo asserted, “Biometric ID is the solution, we believe, to increase security while making more efficient the experience of the traveller.” It’s a line Guevara Manzo has taken before: Speaking at a different tourism forum earlier this year, she said that biometric border screening offers this year’s “single biggest opportunity” for the travel and tourism industry, and urged the industry to work with government and security agencies to develop such solutions.
Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo, also on the panel, sounded a more cautious note. With his firm having trialled biometric boarding based on facial recognition with the Helsinki Airport operator, it’s clear that Vauramo and his team also recognize the benefits of biometrics in passenger processing. But he also said that new laws affecting how consumers’ private information is handled, such as the European Union’s GDPR, could affect the efficiency of biometric processes; and he said that consumers are becoming extremely concerned about how their biometric information will be used.
Nevertheless, Vauramo agreed that biometric boarding represents “promising technology and it speeds up the process.” And with government agencies around the world increasingly promoting the use of biometric border screening, it’s a technology that the aviation industry will have to reckon with in some way sooner rather than later.
March 19, 2018 – by Alex Perala