Report explores impact of biometrics on global aviation sector

Report explores impact of biometrics on global aviation sector
Published: 1 October 2018 - 12:02 p.m.
By: Alexander Pieri

As part of the SITA 2018 Air Transport IT Insights, SITA, a global IT provider, has released research findings that examined the latest developments and impact of biometric technology on the global aviation sector.

The report noted that 77% of airports and 71% of airlines have already enacted R&D programmes focused on biometric ID management.
SITA’s research also delved into the challenges associated with the adoption of biometrics for passenger identity checks. According to its findings, more than a third of airlines point out that the integration of tools and technologies at airports, along with a lack of standards for processes and technologies for integrating checks, to be the principal challenges associated with the technology’s adoption.

Similarly, 39% of airports interviewed as part of the research shared that addressing government and legislative requirements poses a major challenge.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Secure and seamless travel is a must for the air transport industry. It is encouraging to see that both airlines and airports are investing in biometric technology to deliver a secure, paperless way to identify passengers across multiple steps of the journey. We have already seen great success where we have implemented it at airports across the world.

“As the research shows, integration causes challenges and the variety of legislative demands can be daunting for airlines and airports. To deliver a seamless passenger experience, we must all collaborate – airlines, airports, governments and industry suppliers – and use technology to automate, and even eliminate, tedious processes.”

He added: “We achieve the best results when we work together, this has been most apparent when we incorporate secure biometrics into the passenger journey.”

Other findings of the report noted that both airlines and airports are also exploring new technologies for passenger identity management, such as blockchain. According to SITA, 40% of airlines and 36% of airports believe that blockchain will help streamline this process, one such example is the reduction of multiple ID checks.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another technology being explored by airlines with an impressive 84% of those survey admitting to planning to run an R&D programme in the field by 2021. According to SITA, the increased from the 52% reported in last year’s survey.
Airports are also exploring the possibilities of AI with 61% planning R&D programmes to go active within the next three years, a significant increase over the 34% reported in 2017.

SITA’s Air Transport IT Insights research was compiled with inputs taken over 2018, from 180 senior IT executives employed by both airlines and airports. Together, the group represented roughly 39% of airports, as well as 27% of global airline passenger traffic.

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