Advanced facial recognition such as Biometric Passport and high-speed back-end processing of biometrics data will speed passenger identification and processing despite the additional COVID-19 checks.

With travel restrictions relaxing in some countries, airports are bracing for the gradual return of high passenger traffic. COVID-19 vigilance, identity verification and contact tracing measures will inevitably be a factor in determining how smoothly travelers can traverse the various check-in procedures.

In Japan, Narita International Airport is using technology to simplify the “Check-in to boarding experience” by using just one biometric factor: facial recognition.

The entire passenger experience within an airport, from check-in to boarding, has been made more efficient to minimize unnecessary delays. According to Toshifumi Yoshizaki, Senior VP, NEC Corporation, the technology partner handling biometric security, the airport needed a highly-scalable solution that is agile and future-proof. “As a result, travelers will be able to proceed quickly at the airport. In the future, we will promote the deployment of this solution at airports in Japan, internationally and throughout a wide variety of industries.”

Point-to-point checks

The One ID system requires every passenger’s identity to be verified just once when they initially check-in at an airport service desk or self-service KIOSK. The advanced facial recognition technology does the rest, tallying the face with the passport data and check-in details.

From there, each passenger will be able to move more rapidly through the airport, including screening, baggage storage and the boarding gate, without having to show a boarding pass or passport.

Biometric scanners at each phase of the travel process are able to confirm the individual’s identity, helping to improve traffic flow through the airport and the overall travel experience.

Analyzing the types of data collected by such point-to-point solutions requires extensive computing power backed by a flexible, scalable infrastructure that can support usage spikes at peak travel times. In this regard, NEC has adopted the enterprise Kubernetes platform via Red Hat OpenShift, a cloud-native architecture offering operational agility, future-ready developer services and integration with extended hardware and software systems.

One ID is expected to go live at Narita International Airport’s Terminals 1 and 2 in the near future. Following the successful introduction of One ID at Narita Airport, domestic and international airports throughout the world may also adopt such systems.