Chinese Airports Invest in Biometrics, AI and Blockchain

Airlines and airports in China are embracing artificial intelligence and automation, according to SITA’s 2019 China IT Insights report.

For passengers of China’s airlines and airports, self-service has reached a high level of maturity, but a step-change is coming as biometrics is being adopted. Today, 27% of Chinese airports have self-boarding gates using biometrics with travel documents but in just three years this will jump to 66%. And more than half of the airports have plans for secure single biometric tokens for all touch points by 2022.

Airlines too are committing to self-boarding gates using biometrics with ID, 60% are planning to use them driving a secure and seamless passenger experience right through the airport with the next three years.

The report highlights that blockchain technology is another key area of investment for airlines, today only 24% have major programs, or R&D, planned but this is set to jump to 80% by 2022. This is in line with the recent trends and commitments to blockchain technology in the country.

The Chinese aviation industry plans to use AI initially for chatbots and virtual assistants, but the technology has potential for airport security applications where machine learning could analyze data at the checkpoint faster than humans – and could also be utilized earlier in the passenger journey to identify potential threats.

Read more at SITA

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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