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Simplify Biometric Identity Verification Implementation With a Modular Approach

Air travel is one of the areas where today’s biometric and identity technologies can make the biggest impact in modernizing operations. And yet, it’s also one of the most difficult areas to implement. A big part of the reason is the enormous complexity of the sector, with a wide range of stakeholders involved including airport operators, airlines, government border control authorities and retailers, among others. Any changes to air travel tend to require extensive collaboration among stakeholders and can lead to significant disruptions — as the chaos of the shutdown and reactivation of air travel around the pandemic have clearly shown.

This complexity and its potential for disruption inevitably leads to another major obstacle in adopting game-changing technologies: implementation time. As one PwC report observes, airport projects “may fly off course more often than other types of infrastructure construction because they are more complicated and involve more uncertainty.”

The Berlin Brandenburg Airport, for example, opened in late 2020 after a 14-year construction period that was infamous for delays. Even a simple $400 million project to implement a new runway, breakwater and terminal at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport saw a 19-month delay that pushed up costs another $100 million. These projects involved conventional air travel technologies and still faced lengthy implementation times, making the prospect of adopting more innovative solutions, such as the biometric identity verification technology, even more daunting from a logistical standpoint.

Immediate Relief for Long-Term Gain

Fortunately, there’s a path through this complexity. Taking a modular approach — in which a comprehensive passenger processing system is implemented one piece at a time — can allow air travel stakeholders to start reaping the technologies’ benefits quickly while minimizing the disruption of their implementation.

There are a number of components to a next generation passenger identification system for air travel, from face-scanning self-checking kiosks to smart document scanners for immigration control, but they don’t need to be implemented all at once.

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HID's modular approach to passenger identity verification enables air travel stakeholders to deploy biometrics and document reading technologies at the touchpoints that need them most.

Using a modular approach, the rollout of next generation passenger identity verification technologies is dictated by the unique needs of the given facility. For example, an airport operator might notice delays at self-checking kiosks that are positioned near large windows, and determine that bright sunlight is interfering with their ability to scan travelers. In that case, the operator can simply start with the installation of AI-enhanced multispectral imaging (MSI) cameras for facial recognition without committing to any further overhauls to airport infrastructure.

The combination of AI and MSI technologies allows the camera to operate with accuracy and reliability across various lighting conditions while preventing fraud attempts in unattended use cases. The benefits — faster throughput, greater operational efficiency and enhanced customer satisfaction — start accruing right away. And the door is left open for further airport enhancements on the operator’s own schedule.

If an airport experiences long lines at the baggage drop touchpoint, deploying biometric cameras can speed things up. Or if the customs line is too long, a more intuitive air travel document scanner can improve operations in no time. As these individual problems are solved, the benefits cumulate into a fully transformed air travel ecosystem.

Building a Better Passenger Experience Piece by Piece

With a modular approach to passenger identity verification technology implementation, the airport operator sees a return on investment much more quickly than with a full platform approach, and yet the foundation is laid for a broader airport transformation that could push the long-term ROI much higher. In the case of HID’s modular approach to air passenger identity verification, each component fits into a comprehensive system that can ultimately make air travel a breeze from curb to gate.

It's all possible with HID’s modular approach to biometric identity verification. Watch the video below to learn more.

Using cutting-edge biometrics, a passenger can be identified automatically, with no need to present an ID or speak to an agent, from check-in to bag drop to boarding — even at the entrance to an airport lounge or the counter of a duty-free shop. Operators can enjoy the benefits of getting each of these systems in place quickly, without worrying about the logistics and timeline of deploying the whole solution. Implementation time can be as short as it needs to be for the operator’s budget and timeline, while still leading to much more substantial innovation — and a better customer experience.

Learn more about the challenges faced by airports and airlines, and how a modular approach to identity can solve them, by downloading HID’s new eBook, Passenger Identity Verification: Opportunities and Challenges for Airlines and Airport Operations. Or explore HID’s identity verification technology offerings.

Vito Fabbrizio is HID's Managing Director of Biometrics for Extended Access Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience in high-tech security hardware and software, driving strategic growth and product visibility for both mature and emerging markets. His unique blend of strategic and hands-on tactical skills has generated proven results to partners and customers in the security industry.