Iberia Airlines is moving forward with a biometric boarding pilot at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport. Those participating in the pilot will be able to pass through security checkpoints and board their plane with a facial recognition scan instead of a boarding pass and a passport.
The pilot will be conducted at Terminal 4, and will only be available for flights to Asturias and Brussels. Iberia passengers can register for the pilot using the Iberia app, or at kiosks located inside Terminal 4. However, they must have an Android phone with an NFC reader and a post-2015 3.0 Spanish National Identity Document in order to participate.
The system uses a video selfie and a photo of the official ID to create a biometric profile, and links that profile to a passenger’s travel information. The biometric information will be stored by Adolfo Suárez owner AENA, while the solution itself leverages technology from IECISA, Gunnebo, and Thales.
“Facial recognition and the recording of biometric profiles via our application are a part of our project of connected operations and will enable our customers to have a better experience in T4,” said Iberia Chairman and CEO Gabriel Perdiguero.
The pilot will continue for a six- to twelve-month period, and is expected to lead to a wider rollout if things go well. The program makes Adolfo Suárez the latest airport to introduce biometric boarding, although Iberia believes that its app utility has the potential to set it apart from many of its competitors.
The news comes shortly after AENA partnered with Atos in an effort to make its airport operations more efficient. Biometric registration was a key component of the €11.8 million contract. Thales, meanwhile, has argued that biometric processing will be critical as air traffic increases over the next twenty years.
November 25, 2019 – by Eric Weiss