Frankfurt Airport selects SITA biometric security tech

Oct. 31, 2023
Once registered, passengers pass through the facial recognition-equipped checkpoints without showing any physical documents.

FRANKFURT - Germany's Frankfurt Airport (Fraport) sought a technology airlines and security personnel could use to verify identities of passengers. They found their solution from SITA in Geneva, Switzerland. Frankfurt, SITA says, is the first airport in Europe to offer biometric touchpoints to all airline passengers.

Using SITA’s Smart Path biometric solution, powered by NEC, the passenger's face becomes their boarding pass. Passengers can securely register in advance on their mobile device through the Star Alliance biometric app or directly at the check-in kiosk with their biometric-enabled passports. Once registered, passengers pass through the facial recognition-equipped checkpoints without showing any physical documents. The new technology is already in use by more than 12,000 passengers at check-in, boarding pass control, and boarding gates.

SITA’s biometric solution leverages the NEC I:Delight digital identity management platform, ranked the world’s most accurate face recognition technology in vendor tests conducted by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This means passengers who have opted to use the service can be identified quickly and accurately, even on the move.

"Together with Lufthansa and the Star Alliance airlines, we have been offering this innovative service since 2020, an experience – with the help of SITA and NEC – which will now be extended to all airlines," Dr. Pierre Dominique Prümm, Fraport AG’s Executive Director Aviation and Infrastructure, said.  "We are the first European airport to offer all passengers a contactless and convenient passenger journey using biometrics. Our goal for the coming months is to equip at least 50% of all check-in kiosks, pre-security, and boarding gates with the new and pioneering technology."

"We have seen that the more we can automate the passenger journey in the airport, the better the experience," David Lavorel, CEO of SITA, said. "Biometric touchpoints significantly speed up the mandatory steps in the airport, giving passengers more time to relax before the flight rather than waiting in line. We know from our research that where biometrics are introduced, more than 75% of passengers will gladly use them. Therefore, we are pleased to bring the benefits of a faster airport journey to Frankfurt Airport."

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