Hamburg Airport is now the fourth airport to offer support for the Star Alliance Biometrics program. The Alliance launched the biometric screening service at Frankfurt and Munich airports in November of 2020, before expanding to Vienna almost exactly one year later.
Participation in the Star Alliance Biometrics program is strictly voluntary. Those who are interested are asked to submit their passport, a selfie, and their frequent flyer information when they create an account. That information will be stored in the Star Alliance system, and will allow members to pass through airport security and the boarding gates at participating airports with only a facial recognition scan.
In practice, the Star Alliance system matches a new image of a registered user to the passport and selfie already stored on file when they pass through a security checkpoint. The solution eliminates the need to hand over a passport and boarding pass to an agent for manual review, and can consequently help reduce passenger processing times throughout the airport. In that regard, the Alliance is eventually planning to expand the system to cover the bag drop station, and to grant people entry to VIP lounges.
“The new technology enables additional time savings and ensures that the control process at central points at the airport is even more fluid,” said Hamburg Airport Head of Passenger and Baggage Management Mirjam Fröhlich. “This is entirely in the interests of our passengers.”
At the moment, Star Alliance Biometrics service is only being offered to those flying with Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian Airlines, though the total number of carriers that support the program is expected to increase in the near future. Members only need to register their information once in order to enjoy the benefits with any company that is part of the scheme. The actual onboarding process can be completed through a mobile app.
The Star Alliance Biometrics program relies on facial recognition technology from NEC, and is compatible with SITA’s Smart Path biometric processing system. SITA has partnerships with more than 460 airports all over the world, and could provide the foundation needed to expand the Star Alliance program in the coming years.
Source: Simple Flying
April 29, 2022 – by Eric Weiss