Perth airport starts trials of Amadeus 'face-as-a-passport' biometrics tech

Perth airport starts trials of Amadeus 'face-as-a-passport' biometrics tech

The Australian airport is testing the system on select Singapore Airlines flights to simplify the airport experience from check-in to boarding

by Aidan Poole

Perth Airport has begun to trial Amadeus biometric technology that allows passengers to use their face as a boarding pass.

GDS and travel technology giant Amadeus and the western Australia airport are testing this innovation on select Singapore Airlines flights to simplify the airport experience from check-in to boarding.

Perth recently installed 36 self-check-in kiosks and 16 auto bag drop units, all which are biometric-compatible in the airport’s push for more touchless technology.

Passengers in the trial can check in at a kiosk that creates a biometric token to verify their passport, face, and booking information.

The biometric token will be used to identify and verify the passenger against the airline’s Departure Control System (DCS) at the auto bag drop and boarding gate.

Expanding the use of cloud-based passenger handling means that Perth can scale services up to match busy times and reduce airport lines.

Kevin Brown, chief executive of Perth Airport, said: “The recently installed self-check-in kiosks and bag drop units enable passengers to check-in and facilitate bag drop independently without the intervention of airline staff – therefore improving passenger flow while reducing processing time and queuing.

“The new facial recognition technology builds on this concept.

“This process eliminates the need for a physical boarding pass and the passport checks at both the Auto Bag Drop and boarding gate and will reduce the possibility of delays which are sometimes encountered due to manual document checks.

“We have an uncompromising stance on safety and security and the adoption of the new technology enhances our processes while also improving the customer experience and ease of processing by automating passenger identification.

“The passenger experience is paramount, and this technology will allow us to serve more passengers to a higher standard, supporting the growth of our airport.”

Louis Arul, Southwest Pacific vice president at Singapore Airlines, said: “For 55 years we’ve enjoyed a strong relationship with Perth Airport, working together to find ways to improve our mutual customer’s travel experience.

“Being part of the trial for new biometric technology at Perth Airport reinforces our commitment to exploring and supporting new technologies that enhance our customer’s experience on the ground and in the sky.

“This is the beginning of a new future for the passenger experience at airports and we look forward to working with Perth Airport to deliver a seamless experience for customers.”  

Sarah Samuel, senior vice president of APAC airport and airline operations for Amadeus, said: “Automating document checks with biometrics is the biggest near-term opportunity for airports and airlines seeking to simplify how passengers move through the airport.

“Amadeus takes an end-to-end approach to biometrics covering the passenger’s entire airport journey, with technology that can be deployed once and easily adopted by any airline.”

Amadeus is currently spearheading the move to biometric processing across four continents.

Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines are already using self-service kiosks and bag drop units, with Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Malaysia Airlines to soon join the transition.