VIDEO: Amadeus teams up with Ljubljana Airport, Adria Airways and LOT for biometric boarding pilot

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Amadeus has carried out a successful biometric boarding pilot at Ljubljana Airport which it said is another step towards the creation of a common, centralised industry platform for biometrics.

Working with Adria Airways, the airport’s home carrier, and LOT Polish Airlines, 175 participating passengers were successfully boarded in record time.

The pilot saw passengers enrol using an Amadeus smartphone app that captured a ‘selfie’ alongside their passport photo and boarding pass, which were all stored securely on a remote server. A photo of the passenger was then captured at the boarding gate and matched against those stored on the server to validate the passenger’s identity and flight status.

Upon successful matching a message was conveyed to the departure control system and the passenger was able to board smoothly. All biometric data was deleted within 48 hours ensuring GDPR compliance.

The pilot saw average boarding times reduced by approximately 75 per cent meaning boarding took just two seconds, rather than the typical five to ten seconds per passenger. The new technology promises to enhance the passenger experience by making boarding faster, simpler and more secure.

Amadeus said with passenger numbers on the rise year-on-year airport infrastructure is being pushed to its limits and, unless addressed, is likely to result in increasingly lengthy queues.

The aviation IT company said for airports, the technology can deliver an improved service to their airline partners, reducing bottlenecks and freeing up ground handling staff to focus on other customer-facing activities. For airlines, there is the promise of greater efficiency and a speedier turnaround of flights.

Adria Airways ground operations, Misel Mencinger said: “The pilot supports the strategy of Adria Airways to make boarding smoother and more efficient and further improve the experience of our passengers.

“We are very encouraged by the results of the pilot with high levels of passenger acceptance and a significant reduction in average boarding times. Biometrics offers the industry another technological leap that will improve how people travel.”

Fraport Slovenija head of IT, Bostjan Rakovec said: “We recently began a partnership with Amadeus, undergoing a full-scale modernization of our IT systems. Innovation is our focus and biometrics is an area we feel Ljubljana can stand-out on by helping airlines to improve decades-old processes.”

Amadeus executive vice president airport IT, Bruno Spada said: “This pilot marks an important milestone in our journey towards a remotely hosted biometrics solution for the industry where travelers only need to enrol once.

“Our solution is in line with IATA’s One ID vision meaning it works across all particiating airports and airlines so passengers can arrive at the airport ready to travel.”

He continued: “Our approach addresses the fundamental problem of biometrics in airports today: the need for passengers to register at each airport separately.  With a centrally hosted solution that sits between airports, airlines and passengers, we will deliver a common standards approach that works for everyone.

“Importantly, this means biometrics can be rolled out and scaled up quickly in areas such as check-in, security and boarding.”

The pilot at Ljubljana Airport focused specifically on improving how passengers board the aircraft although the platform is designed to work across all ID verification pain points at the airport,  including check-in, security, lounge access and boarding.

Amadeus has also delivered solutions in territories where border agencies act as custodians of biometric data. For instance, Amadeus is currently working at San José Norman Y. Mineta Airport (USA) to provide CBP-TVS biometric exit solutions. The Amadeus biometric solution will be available in 2019.