Transforming travel through Frankfurt Airport

Photo Credit: Fraport AG

LONDON – Frankfurt Airport (Fraport) has announced plans to introduce new biometric touchpoints across its airport.

Transforming Fraport’s Biometrics

Photo Credit: Fraport AG

Things like conventional check-in and boarding will become a thing of the past as the technology from two firms is deployed to make your airport experience considerably smoother. 

Plans to implement the technology during the spring of this year will see face scanners installed at kiosks, automated pre-security gates and self-boarding gates.

Such technologies will allow travellers to pass through these checkpoints with nothing more than a quick, successful scan and recognition of their faces. 

Talking about the potential to transform travellers’ current Frankfurt Airport experience, Dr Pierre Dominique Prumm, Executive Director for Aviation and Infrastructure at Fraport AG said: “Emerging from the pandemic, passengers are embracing technology to boost efficiency and place them in control of their travel.”

“We are extremely excited to be able to transform the experience for all our passengers across all terminals and carriers with one simple, intuitive solution.”

“We also value that SITA and NEC’s innovative technology allows our infrastructure to be truly future-proof, with the capacity to grow with us as industry demands and travel patterns shift.”

Frankfurt Airports’ New Tech…

Photo Credit: Fraport AG

The technologies mentioned above will come from two companies; SITA smart path and NEC I: Delight. The SITA system will provide a minimal touch, intelligent approach to the airport experience.

A single scan of your face means that there will be no additional need for pass-scanning, or passport showing later on in your journey at Frankfurt Airport. 

Sergio Colella, SITA President for Europe, said: “We are delighted to be working with key industry players to bring the benefits of biometric technology to passengers everywhere.”

“With this implementation, Fraport is leading the industry in responding to shifting passenger demands for greater autonomy and convenience, while helping to maximize operational efficiencies.”

One thing that strikes me about the SITA service is its apparent lack of need for humans to sit behind a desk enforcing it, as it is deployed through IT systems and terminals.

Physical interaction at airports could well be a thing of the past with the deployment of this technology. 

Integrated into the SITA smart path service is the NEC I: Delight, a digital identity management platform.

Believed to be the world’s most accurate facial recognition software, after tests conducted in the USA. If you opt into using this service as an airport user you can be identified quickly and accurately even as you move around the airport. 

Joining Forces

Photo Credit: Fraport AG

This project breaks ground as the airport plans to roll it out across all terminals, for those airlines that wish to use this platform. Combining day of travel enrolment, Star Alliance biometrics and those hubs that come under the rollout of the SITA smart path. 

Star Alliance biometrics and SITA smart path have been integrated to increase its span of recognition. As per an agreement between the two, SITA will include those Lufthansa passengers that are already enrolled on the Star Alliance biometric database.

Opting for this option will ensure seamless identification of passengers, without the need for additional process steps. This rollout of biometric technology comes as Star Alliance wishes to get more of its 26 member airlines to utilise the biometric technology. 

A key part of its rollout to more airports, it would seem, was Star Alliance’s agreement to share its database with NEC I: Delight.

This decision was recognised by Jason Van Sice, VP for NEC advanced recognition systems by saying: “We are proud to be upgrading Lufthansa and Frankfurt Airport customers’ experience with next-generation biometric technology, and we applaud Star Alliance’s initiative to bring these benefits to its broader network”

In my opinion, this technology can only revolutionise the way we move through an airport for the better. Only if you are involved in some unsavoury endeavours, would you want to opt out of this type of speedy recognition. 

But for the many, as the world becomes ever more tech-savvy, those generations that don’t understand or want to use this type of tech become less apparent at airports.

We can be sure that as we move forward into the future, this will become the new norm in airport operations. 


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