In the post-Covid world, passengers will seek solutions that restore their confidence in travelling. In his own words, industry expert Tony Chapman, senior director of product management and strategy, Collins Aerospace, explains how biometrics can help airports prepare for the future.

    What has been the impact of Covid-19 on global air traffic?

    Covid-19 has dramatically impacted global air traffic at airports around the world with estimates ranging for a 50 per cent to 90 per cent decrease in flights. In the US, we went from one of the highest traffic days on 12 March to the lowest, just one month later, according to the FAA.

    How do you think Covid-19 will impact the passenger experience?

    In a post-Covid world, concerns about health and safety when travelling will create new passenger expectations. Passengers will be weary of human-to-human contact and touching too many surfaces. As the world looks to recover post-Covid, airports and airlines will need to boost passenger confidence by enabling contactless journey options.

    What technologies are available to help enable a contactless journey?

    With passengers seeking a contactless journey across the airport, biometrics is an ideal approach to address their concerns. While not a new technology, biometrics has seen more interest in the past few years at airports across the globe. As we face recovery and the aviation industry looks to boost passenger confidence, biometrics will likely see even more traction.

    Tony Chapman Collins Aerospace copy
    Tony Chapman, Collins Aerospace

    How can biometric solutions help?

    In many of the latest examples of biometrics in airports, a single token-based journey takes a passenger’s biometrics – typically a facial image – and ties it to the passenger’s boarding pass or passport. Once enrolled, facial recognition allows the passenger to securely move through each touchpoint of the airport using their biometric as the travel token.

    Biometric identification technology enables passengers to flow seamlessly through airport touchpoints that are susceptible to long queues and congestion. Additionally, integration of biometrics with self-service kiosks and self-bag drops along with new mobile applications will allow passengers to minimise contact with kiosks and other airport processing surfaces and allow them to use their own device to journey through the airport.

    What does the airport of the future look like with regard to biometrics?

    Post-Covid, the airport of the future will need to include many solutions to provide a seamless, safer journey, not just for passengers but for airport staff, ground teams, and airline crews. Biometrics will continue to fuel these innovations from accelerating immigration processing, to moving passengers through the system from before arrival to the gate with their mobile device or facial recognition, to identifying crew members. Working together as an industry, I believe we can drive these ideas forward and continue to provide technology that lowers costs, engages the passengers and improves efficiency.