The air travel industry’s trend toward biometric technology is poised to pick up altitude with the announcement that the World Travel & Tourism Council has partnered with the International Air Transport Association to pursue biometric passenger identity solutions.
For the WTTC, the partnership appears to be a natural next step as it continues to proselytize about the benefits and even the necessity of biometric passenger identification as airports struggle to meet growing passenger flows and capacity limitations. Just last month, WTTC head Gloria Guevara Manzo cited an IATA forecast predicting that the number of air travelers would rise from 4 billion to 7.8 billion over the next ten years in a speech urging air transport ministers to embrace biometric passenger screening, which can automate and speed up the processing of travelers at airports.
In a statement announcing the new partnership, the WTTC explained that the two organizations “will adopt a common approach, exchange information and work together to energise the entire sector to achieve international harmonisation through the use of biometrics standards and interoperability.” The WTTC also noted that the IATA’s “One ID” initiative is aimed at developing a seamless, end-to-end passenger processing experience while its own “Seamless Traveller Journey” program is intended to promote biometric and digital traveler identity for the passenger journey, suggesting these projects could be merged going forward, or at least that there will be some overlap between them.
Elaborating further on the partnership’s biometric focus, Guevara asserted, “Biometric technology is essential for the future of travel,” adding that it will improve the passenger experience and security, and will help the WTTC and the IATA to foster job creation as the air travel industry continues to grow.
June 4, 2018 – by Alex Perala