Challenges and Prospects of the Use of Biometrics in Air Travel

In a recent article Future Travel Experience took a closer look at the integration of biometrics in the air travel industry, discussing requirements and challenges. They spoke with several experts about this, among them Michael Overkaemping, Product Manager Access & Biometrics, Materna IPS.

Biometric solutions are increasingly implemented and transform the air travel experience fundamentally. However, several challenges remain, in particular the issue of integrating these new systems into the existing ones of airlines and airports but also into government databases. Safety is another important topic, as it is essential to keep the passengers’ personal data save and to comply with data protection laws. Moreover, biometrics systems need to be able to recognize people accurately in all cases. Airlines and airports need clear goals they want to achieve with these systems to use them cost-effective and efficiently. It is also crucial to highlight that biometrics is not a hidden surveillance tool for spying on travelers.

As biometric companies have little experience with the requirements in air travel, suppliers with skills in common use technology are needed to bridge the gap. Thus, collaborations between different vendors are emerging.

In the future, biometrics will expand into other areas of air travel, e.g. bag drops, and, according to Overkaemping, AI will play a major part in moving the technology forward.