SITA has completed a biometric passenger processing trial at Istanbul Airport (iGA), reporting a 30 percent reduction in boarding times over the course of the six-month trial period. The trial was carried out in collaboration with Turkish Airlines, and was set up as a Proof of Concept to demonstrate how low-touch screening technologies lead to better outcomes for air travelers.
In that regard, both passengers and airlines expressed greater satisfaction when using the biometric processing system. The low-touch setup also minimized the amount of contact between passengers and employees, which translated to better public health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The trial itself utilized the SITA Smart Path system, and took advantage of SITA Flex check-in terminals that had already been installed at Istanbul Airport. To participate, passengers first needed to use the terminals to register their faces and link their biometric data to their flight information. After that, they would no longer need to make physical contact with anything at airport checkpoints, and could instead pass through security, enter the airport lounge, and board their plane with only a facial recognition scan.
“Despite the challenging economic environment we are confident that smart technology implementations are crucial to boost passenger confidence and increase the airport’s efficiency,” said iGA Chief Digital and Commercial Officer Ersin Inankul. “Istanbul Airport is a technology-driven airport and we’re proud to be leading the way in terms of low touch smart systems that can help keep passengers safe while reducing operational burdens on the airport.”
SITA Flex is compatible with the new SITA Health Protect suite that was introduced to make it easier for passengers comply with international COVID-19 travel requirements. Smart Path and Flex technologies were recently installed at the new Passenger Terminal at Bahrain International Airport, and are also being deployed in a new mobile screening solution being developed in collaboration with NEC.
April 20, 2021 – by Eric Weiss