Finnish airport operator Finavia has partnered with national carrier Finnair to trial facial recognition technology for checking in passengers at Helsinki Airport. Finnair invited a group of 1,000 frequent flyers to take part in the trial, which will run until May 23, 2017.
Implemented by software developer Futurice, the facial recognition system requires passengers to submit a test application containing a portrait image, which is then checked against the digital scan taken at a specially designated check-in desk. A customer service agent will be on hand to indicate if the recognition was successful.
Sari Nevanlinna, head of ground experience and ancillary at Finnair, said, “Facial recognition technology could enhance the departure process from the customer’s point of view by eliminating the need for a boarding pass. This test will give us information on the applicability of facial recognition technology for our processes, and the impact it has on the customer experience.”
Heikki Koski, vice president of Helsinki Airport, Finavia, said, “Facial recognition is part of the larger megatrend of biometric recognition, and it will enable ‘hands in pockets’ traveling, where you no longer need any travel documents. When all travel-related information is digitized, it takes less time and is easier to get through the checkpoints at the airport. Last year, we tested facial recognition technology at the employee security control and the results were very encouraging.”
Tuğberk Duman, project manager at Futurice, added, “We use face feature-based face recognition technology, which turns facial images into untraceable biometrics IDs. This enables us to identify registered passengers on the go without having to store images. This test will provide useful information on the use of this solution for environments with large customer flows and tight security needs.”