Sydney Airport plans seamless biometric system


Sydney Airport aims to do away with manual inspection of passports and boarding passes, with facial recognition enabling passengers to move quickly through the terminal.

Under a biometric system, travellers will approach automated check-in kiosks, scan their passport and have their photograph taken, which links their facial image with their travel document and identity.

Then at the boarding gate, cameras would identify passengers as they approach the barriers, which would automatically open and allow the passenger on board: a concept currently being trialled at Brisbane Airport with selected Air New Zealand flyers, reports Australian Business Traveller.

But Sydney Airport’s plan takes that further, linking the same facial recognition system with every other touchpoint throughout the terminal, including baggage drop, admission to the security screening queues, clearing passport control without a passport, completing duty-free purchases and even entering airline lounges document-free.

That same technology could also identify passengers eligible for the Express Path channel based on data provided by their airline and could direct or admit them accordingly, and if identity details and biometrics were kept on file from flight to flight, could eliminate the need to scan or present a passport entirely.

“We’re just looking to bed down now with an airline partner,” Sydney Airport’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Sally Fielke, said at the CAPA Australia Pacific Summit in Sydney.

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