Here's how biometric has changed the airport environment
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Here’s how biometric has changed the airport environment

Here’s how biometric has changed the airport environment

Although the pandemic has affected the air travel industry, new technologies and contactless systems can eliminate the bottlenecks, says Osama Nawayseh, Middle East sales manager at Vision-Box

Gulf Business

How has the pandemic impacted the travel and tourism industry? How do you see 2022?
The biggest setback from the pandemic has not been the lockdowns forcing the industry shut, but the loss of consumer confidence in travel and tourism. Covid-19 has been an unprecedented crisis and has affected both domestic and international travel. While vaccinations and testing have scaled up, the travel sector still has a lot of red tapes for people to navigate – from PCR testing before travelling to mandatory quarantine. While there is a pent-up demand brewing, there is also a new hesitancy involved when thinking about travel, and it is no longer something spontaneous.

So the industry needs to work on instilling confidence in the consumers to resume travel once again. Seamless technologies and contactless systems which can eliminate some of the bottlenecks such as the additional paperwork, would be crucial in getting the industry back up and running.

How did Covid-19 fast track biometric contactless technologies at airports?
Long before Covid-19, airports and airlines had started implementing biometric contactless technologies, transitioning to a seamless passenger experience from check-in to boarding, without having to interact with any people. The pandemic undoubtedly catalysed the biometric transformation as governments and travel facilities had to swiftly adapt to the new necessities.

As airports implemented social distancing measures and cut their capacities significantly, biometric technologies were relied upon to deliver touchless processing and seamless travel experiences.

Vision-Box deployed a contactless passenger experience based on facial recognition for Emirates Airline at Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport. Vision-Box’s Orchestra Digital Identity Management Platform is a touchless and contactless passenger processing system which provides passenger safety and security. The contactless technology offers a sophisticated traveller experience, comprising biometric identification, clearance, and safety monitoring environment. The new infrastructure offers a suite of digital tools that reduces or eliminates passenger contact with touchscreen surfaces, and physical interaction with airport and airline staff.

How has biometric changed the airport environment?
The passenger experience has significantly changed for the better with the introduction of biometric and contactless technologies. Airports and airlines with manual processing were long notorious for creating bottlenecks, and Vision-Box focused on eliminating this with biometric and contactless technologies. Today, you can walk into airports such as Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport, Schiphol in Amsterdam or Kansai International Airport in Japan, and have a seamless experience from check in to boarding – eliminating the need for physical contact. Once you consent to opt in to the biometric and contactless path, you are no more required to exchange any physical travel documents. The solutions improve the passenger experience when travelling while also optimising passenger processing times for airlines and travel operators.

What do you think the future airports will look like?
The airport of the future will be powered by the biometric and contactless technologies, that prioritise the passenger experience, through minimal interventions. Many of the world’s biggest airports including Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Kansai International, Schiphol, and JFK are already transitioning to this.

There are still many areas of opportunity for airports of all sizes to join the biometric technology transformation as these solutions are available – not only to international travel hubs – but can be of great benefit for regional travel facilities alike.

Can you elaborate on your recent implementations in the Middle East region?
After being present in the Middle East for many years in countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, Vision-Box has consolidated its presence in the region with some of its main business partners being Dubai Immigration, Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Emirates Airline. Vision-Box’s solutions as Automatic Border Control Smart Gates and Biometric Contactless Technologies can be seen across Dubai International Airport, which is usually ranked very high on the world’s biggest airports lists. Vision-Box has similar implementations at Hamad international Airport in Qatar, Bahrain International Airport, as well as at some airports in Saudi Arabia.

Read: Key elements to restoring passenger trust in air travel

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