High-tech for passengers’ direct check-in scheme debuts

Matthys Serfontein

Matthys Serfontein

SITA, a multinational information technology company providing IT and telecommunication services to the air transport industry has unveiled a new technology that allows passengers to move through the airport and board the aircraft simply by presenting themselves for a biometric check.

According to the company, once verified there is no need for the passenger to present a boarding pass, a passport or travel documents again.

The Vice President, Airport Solutions, Matthys Serfontein said: “SITA has a strong record of introducing new self-service solutions across the entire passenger journey for both airlines and airports. But we also provide sophisticated border management systems to governments. Every day hundreds of airlines use SITA technology to connect with government identity management and risk assessment systems in countries around the world”.

He added: “We have built on this unique expertise to create SITA Smart Path – a single, secure, self-service process using existing common-use infrastructure which works seamlessly with multiple airline and government systems. Smart Path simplifies secure, passenger processing for everyone – airlines, airports and border authorities.”

“The key to single token travel is gathering and verifying data as early in the process as possible in order to establish a robust token. This includes both biometric and biographic information. And then if necessary to update it with more detailed information from airline, airport or government systems at various steps in the journey. That is exactly how we have designed SITA Smart Path”,Serfontein said.

Furthermore, it said that with SITA Smart Path, the passenger’s biometric details are captured through a facial scan at the first touch point in the journey. The record is checked against the passenger’s travel documents, typically the passport, and a secure single token is created. Then, at each step of the journey – from check-in, to aircraft boarding or border control, passengers gain access simply with a facial scan and without having to show their passport or boarding pass.

According to the company, SITA Smart Path can be easily integrated into existing airport infrastructure and airline systems. This includes standard common- use, self-service equipment already in use across the industry such as check-in kiosks, bag drop units, gates for secure access, boarding and automated border control, making rapid deployment easy and cost-effective. Smart Path also integrates with government systems and databases, allowing integrated immigration and border checks.

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