• Malaika Norman

The Future of Air Travel Using Next-generation Biometrics

Updated: Nov 10, 2021


Companies all around the world are working to make air travel a less tasking, more efficient, and secure process with the use of biometrics. Anyone who has been to an airport can agree that traveling can be a hectic and stressful experience.


The long queues, lengthy security processes, and crowded aircraft can be a lot to handle, not only for flyers but also for airport staff.

One of the air travel industry's biggest challenges to date is accurately checking and confirming the travel identities of individuals. We all know the feeling of standing in line at an immigration checkpoint, handing over all our documents, and hoping for a smooth transition to the next destination. This is a manual comparison between an individual and the identity they present to the border agent. It is difficult, because people change what they look like all the time, and though border agents are trained to recognize individuals, there is great room for human error and bias.


The manual comparison between an individual and the identity they present to the border agent has a 3% error rate. This means that if an airport has 25,000 incoming passengers daily, and 1 in 10,000 is a criminal of some kind, 750 persons will successfully get past border security in one day.

Air travel companies are highly aware of this, which is why there are new technological advancements to improve the efficiency and safety of passengers and staff, with less margin for human error. At the forefront of this technology is self-service facial recognition ID management.

A future where your face is your passport.

Facedatper is an up-and-coming deep tech Startup, that has created facial recognition software that uses a combination of four different cameras. This eliminates the issue of identifying people that look alike and enables cameras to recognize people, even in the dark. It uses 2D, 3D, Short Wave Infrared (SWIR), and Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) cameras.

As a result of the heavy impact, Covid-19 has had on air travel, several airports have already begun making changes. Airports have implemented thermal temperature screenings and facial recognition technology, to protect and monitor the spread of Covid.

Temperature scanners have been installed in Hawaii's public airports at the gates, as of July 2020, and are currently being used for arriving trans-Pacific flights. the goal is to have temperature scanners installed at the remaining gates and have the facial recognition equipment installed to recognize potential risks to the community.

Airports internationally have been expanding and redeveloping to help manage, not only the current pandemic but a predicted increase in flyers. According to predictions from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) it is expected to reach 7.8 billion by 2036. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that airports will be able to double their physical capacity and staff numbers in time for the large increase in flyers and potential security risks. This means the transition to a more advanced and efficient self-identification is the future.

The future of biometric technology is a concept that intimidates people, especially when it seems like it will infringe on an individual's privacy and safety. Though this concept may seem foreign and intimidatingly futuristic, this kind of technology is around us every day. Personal facial recognition technology is used to unlock cell phones, cars, access card details, make payments online, and much more.

Next-generation biometrics is the future of air travel. A future that is growing to be more efficient, secure, and accessible to the masses.

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