Biometric screening technology developed by IT specialist Amadeus has reduced the time taken to board passengers at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, Slovenia, by up to 75%.
Working with Adria Airways, the airport’s home carrier, and LOT Polish Airlines, 175 participating passengers were successfully boarded in record time.
Passengers taking part in the pilot program used Amadeus’s smartphone app to capture a self-portrait image alongside their passport photo and boarding pass, which were all stored 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. Once successfully matched, a message was sent to the departure control system and the passenger was able to board. All biometric data was deleted within 48 hours ensuring GDPR compliance.
The pilot saw average boarding times reduced by approximately 75%, meaning boarding took just two seconds per passenger rather than the typical five to 10 seconds. The new technology promises to enhance the passenger experience by making boarding faster, simpler and more secure.
“We are very encouraged by the results of the pilot with high levels of passenger acceptance and a significant reduction in average boarding times,” said Misel Mencinger, ground operations at Adria Airways. “Biometrics offers the industry another technological leap that will improve how people travel.”
Bruno Spada, executive vice president, airport IT, at Amadeus, said, “Our solution is in line with IATA’s One ID vision meaning it works across all participating airports and airlines so passengers can arrive at the airport ready to travel.
“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.”
Although the pilot at Ljubljana Airport focused specifically on improving how passengers board the aircraft, the platform is designed to work across all ID verification points including check-in, security, lounge access and boarding. The Amadeus biometric solution will be made commercially available later this year.