Airports Team Up with SITA and NEC for Biometric Passenger Journey

Airports Team Up with SITA and NEC for Biometric Passenger Journey

Beginning this year, passengers traveling through Frankfurt Airport (Fraport) will be able to scan their faces at biometric touchpoints across the airport. This solution will be rolled out and available to all interested airlines at the airport.

The implementation will see additional biometric touchpoints installed by spring 2023. From enrollment at a kiosk or counter, to pre-security automated gates and self-boarding gates, passengers can use biometric technology to pass through each stage of the journey by simply scanning their face.

SITA calls the project “groundbreaking” in the development of digital travel by providing a true common-use biometric platform at all Fraport terminals, open to all airlines operating at the airport. It combines day of travel enrollment, Star Alliance Biometrics and additional biometric hubs under the umbrella of the SITA Smart Path platform.

For Lufthansa passengers specifically, thanks to the integration of SITA Smart Path with Star Alliance Biometrics, the technology makes use of the biometric identities of Lufthansa passengers enrolled on Star Alliance’s platform, enabling seamless identification of passengers without additional process steps across multiple participating airports and airlines.

This implementation plays a key part in paving the way for the rollout of biometrics across Star Alliance’s global network, as it endeavors to have more of its 26 member carriers using biometric technology progressively. Key learnings from the Fraport project will be considered for further implementations across the network.

The NEC I:Delight digital identity management platform, which is fully integrated with SITA Smart Path, ranked number one several times as the world’s most accurate face recognition technology in vendor tests conducted by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It allows passengers who have opted to use the service to be identified quickly and accurately, even on the move. Passengers who do not wish to use the solution can check in using a traditional check-in counter.

“Emerging from the pandemic, passengers are embracing technology to boost efficiency and place them in control of their travel,” said Dr. Pierre Dominique Prümm, member of the executive board and executive director aviation and infrastructure, Fraport. “We are extremely excited to be able to transform the experience for all our passengers across all terminals and carriers with one simple, intuitive solution. We also value that SITA and NEC’s innovative technology allows our infrastructure to be truly future proof, with the capacity to grow with us as industry demands and travel patterns shift.”

Jason Van Sice, vice president for NEC Advanced Recognition Systems added, “We have a wealth of experience combining our technical know-how with SITA’s understanding of the air transport industry. We are proud to be upgrading Lufthansa and Fraport customers’ experience with next-generation biometric technology, and we applaud Star Alliance’s initiative to bring these benefits to its broader network.”