Airports around the world are increasingly investing in the development and deployment of biometrics security checks. In Europe, airports in Lithuania and Frankfurt were among the first to adopt the technology and now Portugal will join the list of countries offering seamless air travel.
ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, Vinci Airports’ Portuguese subsidiary, has partnered with Vision-Box to bring the technology to the country’s 5 biggest airports: Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Madeira and Ponta Delgada. The project is funded by the European Union through the NextGenerationEU programme and the Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) through the Accelerate and Transform Tourism Agenda.
“We are very excited about this launch, which represents the most advanced investment in innovation at airports with tangible results for the traveller experience”, said ANA CEO, Thierry Ligonnière. “Facial recognition technology will enable a faster, simpler journey where travellers gain comfort and time, ensuring complete security and confidentiality of their data and the process.
The technology is first being piloted at the Lisbon and Porto airports with TAP Air Portugal passengers heading to another member of the Schengen area, on flights previously selected by the company. In a second testing phase, more airlines and destinations will be added, including flights outside Schengen or the EU.
Following the preliminary monitoring of the project at the two airports, Faro, Madeira and Ponta Delgada airports will be equipped with the necessary technology in the second half of the year. Thus, by the end of the year, Portugal will have the most airports with biometrics security in Europe.
“As pioneers in biometric-based travel solutions, the launch of the Biometric Experience by Vinci Airports in our home country underscores our commitment to redefining the traveller journey in Europe and globally”, Vision-Box CEO and founder, Miguel Leitmann, said. “This project represents a dedication from Vision-Box to elevate service quality, enhance the airport experience and contribute to Portugal’s tourism goals with paperless arrivals and departures.”
Passengers who are booked on the selected test flights can participate in the pilot by registering in advance on their mobile device using the “Biometric Experience by Vinci Airports” app. Alternatively, they can register at the airport, at a device available for this purpose, located at check-in, the public area for departures in Lisbon and Porto, or next to the boarding gates for passengers transferring between flights.
Registration and use in the app or at the kiosk consist in photographing or scanning the passenger’s boarding pass, electronic passport or Portuguese national identity card and taking a selfie. Travellers can then proceed through the airport on a “smoother and faster boarding experience by having [their] biometric data scanned, without having to present [their] boarding pass again”, Vinci promises. To ensure privacy, all passenger data is deleted after the flight departs.