An interview with Miguel Leitmann, CEO Vision-Box. By Ross Falconer
Passenger-centric innovations are increasingly streamlining the airport experience, with biometrics, artificial intelligence and big data among the technologies having a growing impact.
Rome-Fiumicino is among the progressive airports embracing a seamless, end-to-end traveller experience. In January it was announced that the airport has launched a Seamless Flow One-ID pilot in partnership with Vision-Box. The aim is to establish the practical foundations of IATA One-ID in Italy by transforming Rome-Fiumicino into a full Seamless Travel ecosystem that offers premium passenger-centric experiences. During the six-month trial, passengers flying from Rome to Amsterdam can participate in testing facial biometric recognition, which is designed to deliver a quicker, easier and more secure journey.
“The pilot is performing well,” says Miguel Leitmann, CEO Vision-Box. “Our Seamless Flow solution provides enrolled travellers with an end-to-end self-service experience from check-in, through security and boarding. Passengers who choose to opt-in identify themselves using their facial biometric characteristics which are automatically checked against their official travel documents. Vision-Box’s Orchestra identity management platform then manages the entire passenger flow process and always in compliance with EU Data Privacy regulations.”
Importantly, no photos are saved, and the temporary biometric and biographic information used for seamless clearance is deleted once the passenger has boarded.
“Travellers are indicating that they are very pleased with the faster and easier Seamless Flow passenger experience,” Leitmann comments. “They especially like the availability of dedicated lanes for a simplified and faster process, and that they no longer have to show travel documents or boarding passes at multiple points.”
Seamless Flow’s passenger-centric premium lies in its ability to offer contactless traveller identification, allowing passengers to go through the airport faster by enabling a non-stop passage throughout the entire airport journey.
“By providing a frictionless passenger flow operation through all checkpoints, Seamless Flow eases congestion throughout the airport and allows for effective infrastructure usage, while offering a contemporary and modern travel environment for happier passengers,” says Leitmann. “Vision-Box also ensures passengers’ data protection through a unique Privacy-by-Design (PbD) certification, which covers both the company and our Orchestra platform. It utilises the latest security protocols, data hardening techniques and operates using the strictest privacy standards as per European Union GDPR and ICAO regulations, and the seven foundational principles of the PbD framework.”
Seamless Flow also offers airports and airlines reliable biometric passenger identification, real-time information on passenger progress through checkpoints, and flow monitoring throughout the entire system. “This results in a higher level of trust in the integrated security and identity services provided by Seamless Flow, enabling immediate economic benefits on costs optimisation and growth of non-aeronautical revenue,” Leitmann notes. “According to the latest ACI research on the impact of happy passengers on non-aeronautical revenue, a 1% increase in passenger satisfaction generates an additional 1.5% in revenue.”
“A frictionless traveller experience”
Vision-Box was also recently awarded a new five-year Framework Agreement by London Gatwick Airport to deliver end-to-end passenger processing.
“We have been directly supporting Gatwick, and VINCI Airports as a group, for many years in their ambitious plan to transform the airport’s passenger flow system into an end-to-end solution,” Leitmann explains. “The Orchestra Services Platform is the backbone of future expansion of the Seamless Flow ecosystem using a range of our latest technology and biometric recognition advances.”
Initially, Vision-Box will replace some of Gatwick’s legacy systems with Orchestra, facilitating Advanced Boarding Pass validation, passenger flow measurement and biometric reconciliation between security and pre-boarding.
“Introducing Orchestra into the airport’s passenger flow and identity management system will simplify and automate the passenger journey at various touchpoints across the airport, specifically check-in, security, bag drop and auto-boarding,” says Leitmann. “It will support increasing terminal traffic within a limited infrastructure estate and help optimise flow management with the benefit of a frictionless traveller experience.”
Looking ahead, Leitmann explains that Vision-Box will continue to expand its partnerships with major airports, airlines and governments in Seamless Flow programmes. “We will be announcing new Seamless Flow projects very shortly with major air transport players that have the potential to be game changers for the entire industry. We are definitely very excited about the challenges ahead.”