Biometric recognition technology implemented at Vienna Airport

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Austrian Airlines and Vienna International Airport have introduced Star Alliance Biometrics, a biometric recognition system for contactless travel.

Star Alliance Biometrics uses an identification solution based on the facial recognition technology NEC I:Delight from the Japanese NEC Corporation. The facial recognition technology ensures contactless passenger movement throughout the terminal, security and boarding as passengers do not have to present identification documentation. The tech can also still operate when passengers have an FFP2-mask on. To operate the technology, a special infrastructure has been set up at the Vienna hub in Terminal 3.

As the biometric tech grants access to selected contactless quick-boarding-gates, this feature is exclusive to Miles & More members. Though it is free for these members, they need to register and agree on the use of their biometric data for boarding. The one-time registration is completed via the Miles & More app, where members are asked to take a photo of themselves, confirm their identity with their passport and select the airlines and airports where they would like to use the service.

Personal data such as photos and other identification features are encrypted and stored safely within the platform. The system has been developed in compliance with applicable data protection laws and is based on the latest facial recognition technology. The storage of personal data is limited to a necessary minimum. For example, no customer names are stored. The one-time registration must be completed 24 hours before departure.

Michael Trestl, CCO of Austrian Airlines, said, “The optimization of travel processes is a top priority for us. With biometric technology, we can offer our frequent flyers more travel comfort and a contactless passenger journey. Once registered, the free service can now be used for Austrian, Lufthansa and Swiss flights at our Vienna hub in addition to Munich and Frankfurt airports.”

Julian Jäger, joint CEO and COO of Vienna International Airport, said, “Despite the crisis, we keep our quality offensive going and invest in innovative and digital solutions. Miles & More members can take off almost contactless in Vienna, thanks to the biometric technology. We are delighted to be one of three German-speaking airports offering this advanced service.”

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