Thales is making the case for digital transformation in the air travel industry. In doing so, the company argued that the digital and biometric technologies in the Thales portfolio can help improve the traveler experience and make airport operations more efficient.
On the passenger front, Thales called particular attention to its biometric screening solution. Passengers can use a mobile app to check in before they go to the airport, taking a selfie (with liveness detection) and a photo of an ID to verify their identity. From there, the Thales system will generate a temporary digital token, and will use facial recognition to match the traveler to that token as they progress through security checkpoints and board their plane.
The facial recognition system can identify passengers with or without a mask, and will eliminate the need to present a physical ticket and identity document to airport staff. The system itself does not store any personal information or photos, and instead refers to an encrypted code (the temporary token) that will be deleted after takeoff.
Digital identity technology can similarly help with health screening, with digital ID wallets giving people a secure way to share their vaccination status and COVID-19 test results. The wallets can be stored on a standard smartphone, and allow airlines to enforce health requirements while still protecting the privacy of individual travelers.
Biometric self-service kiosks, meanwhile, can help speed up registration. The technology is expected to be especially useful in Europe, since it will make it easier for Schengen member states to meet the incoming EES biometric data collection requirements for foreign nationals.
Taken together, digital screening technologies are expected to reduce passenger processing times by as much as 30 percent. Digital transformation carries additional benefits on the business side of the equation, insofar as algorithms and analytic tools can help airlines and airports optimize their logistical operations, and allocate resources in a more efficient fashion.
Thales has already received an order for biometric border kiosks from the French Ministry of the Interior. The company’s facial recognition technology has also been deployed in biometric screening projects at several airports in Spain.
July 2, 2021 – by Eric Weiss