With passenger numbers rising inexorably, the need for smarter journey technology in airports has never been greater. Airlines and airports alike are eager to remove pain points at every step, with security and border checks top of the list. According to the SITA Air Transport IT Insights 2018 research, 77% of airports have set their sights on biometric ID management solutions.
SITA’s Smart Path™ solution represents a quantum leap forward in this area, with its use of biometrics and digital identity management to enable passengers to identify themselves at all steps of the journey after initial check-in without having to show their passport, boarding card or indeed any other documentation.
Athens International Airport is the latest example of Smart Path™ in action, having become the first airport in Europe to trial the solution. Currently, the service is available to Aegean Airlines passengers departing from Athens Airport.
On arrival at the airport, passengers during their check-in process get their passport scanned and their photograph taken. Once done, they can then proceed to security where they can be verified as a known traveller using facial recognition technology, in no more than 2-3 seconds. They are then offered fast track passage onwards and the seamless process can continue through the boarding gate and onto the aircraft.
Reaction to the Smart Path trial has been very positive. In particular, passengers appreciate the ease of use, the greatly reduced check-in time, and the fact that it takes only a few seconds to verify their identity at security.
A key benefit of the SITA Smart Path solution is the fact that it integrates with the airport’s existing common-use check-in kiosks and boarding gates, making it both cost-effective and available to multiple airlines. It can also be tailored to an airport’s or airline’s specific requirements.
Athens has joined a growing list of international airports including Brisbane, Doha, Muscat, Orlando, Miami and Boston airports in implementing the solution, while a number of other airports in Europe and the US are expected to follow suit later this year.