The Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques (SITA) and Fraport are enabling all airlines at Frankfurt Airport to jointly use face biometrics as identification from check-in to boarding the aircraft.
Frankfurt is the first airport in Europe to offer biometric touchpoints to all airline passengers, enabling streamlined, frictionless passage throughout the airport.
Using SITA’s Smart Path biometric solution, powered by NEC, your face becomes your boarding pass. Passengers can securely register in advance on their mobile device through the Star Alliance biometric app or directly at the check-in kiosk with their biometric-enabled passports. The whole registration process only takes a few seconds.
Once registered, passengers pass through the facial recognition-equipped checkpoints without showing any physical documents.
The new technology is already in use by more than 12,000 passengers at check-in, boarding pass control, and boarding gates.
Speaking on the development, Dr. Pierre Dominique Prümm, Fraport AG’s Executive Director Aviation and Infrastructure, said: “Together with Lufthansa and the Star Alliance airlines, we have been offering this innovative service since 2020, an experience – with the help of SITA and NEC – which will now be extended to all airlines. We are the first European airport to offer all passengers a contactless and convenient passenger journey using biometrics. Our goal for the coming months is to equip at least 50% of all check-in kiosks, pre-security, and boarding gates with the new and pioneering technology.”
In his comments, David Lavorel, CEO of SITA, said: “We have seen that the more we can automate the passenger journey in the airport, the better the experience. Biometric touchpoints significantly speed up the mandatory steps in the airport, giving passengers more time to relax before the flight rather than waiting in line. We know from our research that where biometrics are introduced, more than 75% of passengers will gladly use them. Therefore, we are pleased to bring the benefits of a faster airport journey to Frankfurt Airport.”
For Naoki Yoshida, Corporate Senior Vice President, NEC: “As a pioneering biometrics technology partner of Star Alliance and SITA, we are proud to be able to support Fraport’s innovative and ground-breaking approach to streamlining passenger facilitation by creating a seamless travel experience throughout one of Europe’s most important gateways for travel.”
SITA’s biometric solution leverages the NEC I:Delight digital identity management platform, ranked the world’s most accurate face recognition technology in vendor tests conducted by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
This means passengers who have opted to use the service can be identified quickly and accurately, even on the move.
SITA is the global air transport industry’s IT provider, delivering solutions for airlines, airports, aircraft and governments. Its technology enables seamless, safe and sustainable air travel. (It should not be confused with South Africa’s state-owned IT agency which SITA, Fraport Enable Contactless Travel Experience For Passengers Using Facial Recognition.