The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on governments and industry to work together to make the best use of modern technology to provide a “passenger first” approach to airport security. The association pointed to the One ID biometric initiative, and RFID for baggage tracking as ways of increasing security and improving the passenger experience. But is says both need the support of stakeholders, including governments.
The call came during the opening address by Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, at the IATA Global Airport and Passenger Symposium in Warsaw on October 15.
IATA’s One ID initiative is helping the industry transition towards passengers moving from curb to gate using a single biometric travel token such as a face, fingerprint or iris scan.
“Biometric technology has the power to transform the passenger experience. Airlines are strongly behind the One ID initiative. The priority now is ensuring there is regulation in place to support the vision of a paperless travel experience that will also ensure that their data is well protected,” said de Juniac.
On baggage, airlines and airports are working together to implement tracking at key journey points, such as loading onto and off-of aircraft (Resolution 753). In June, airlines committed to the global deployment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for baggage tracking.
“Implementation of RFID has seen some good progress, especially in China where the technology has been thoroughly embraced. In Europe several airlines and airports are successfully working together to introduce RFID, notably Air France at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Industry needs to be reminded that in addition to meeting our customers’ expectations, implementation of RFID will help reduce the USD2.4 billion cost to airlines from mishandled bags,” said de Juniac.
Infrastructure will also play a key role in meeting customer expectations. Developing infrastructure that can cope with future demand, without relying on ever-bigger airports, is essential. In cooperation with Airports Council International (ACI), the NEXTT (New Experience Travel Technologies) initiative explores important changes in technology and processes to improve operational efficiency and the customer experience.
Among its 11 work streams, NEXTT is examining several options, including the potential to increase off-site processing, which could reduce or even eliminate queues; use artificial intelligence and robotics to more efficiently use space and resources; and improve data sharing among stakeholders to enhance efficiency.