More new technology being rolled out at Australian airports

by Ray Clancy on August 22, 2018

in Australia Travel

People travelling to and from Australia will find that biometrics are being trialed at some airports with facial recognition being used in pilot schemes and phones for boarding passes.

Airports in Sydney and Melbourne are using the technology in partnership with several airlines and as well as making the arrival and departure process easier and faster, the Australian Government has pointed out that it also makes it safer for everyone.

Facial Recognition

(By Rosadu/Shutterstock.com)

Qantas and Sydney Airport have recently started trials of facial recognition technology for passengers departing on international flights, initially, focussing on check-in, bag drop, lounge access and boarding the flight,.

So instead of a boarding pass or passport, facial recognition technology is instead used to verify the passenger using the bag drop facility, accessing the lounge and boarding the flight. Sydney Airport said mobile check-in and automated border processing had been proposed as the next phases for this trial.

Air New Zealand began using facial recognition technology at Brisbane airport in March with departing passengers using biometrics at self-service check-ins and when boarding the aircraft.

The aim is to extend the biometrics for arriving passengers as well as those leaving the country. Phones are also being used for boarding. Passengers flying out of Australian can check-in using their mobiles in a bid to cut queues and waiting times.

Airlines have been given the option to issue electronic boarding passes directly to passengers. ‘Australia is a world leader in seamless travel and this move will allow travellers to move across our border smoothly,’ said Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge.

The airlines are backing the changes in travel. ‘In the future, there will be no more juggling passports and bags at check-in and digging through pockets or smartphones to show your boarding pass. Your face will be your passport and your boarding pass at every step of the process,’ said Sydney Airport chief executive Geoff Culbert.

Qantas chief customer officer Vanessa Hudson believes that in the coming months and years technology will make using airports more attractive, convenient and enjoyable. ‘Qantas customers will not only be able to check in for their flight using the technology, it is also available for our lounge staff who can create a more personalised experience when passengers arrive,’ she added.

Last year the Australian Government agreed to a three-year contract with Vision-Box Australia worth $22.5 million to rollout facial recognition technology to border processing facilities at the nation’s airports.

At the time Peter Dutton, then Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and now Home Affairs Minister, said that the aim it to rely wholly on facial technology.

‘It will also deliver a new capability that will eventually enable known travellers to self-process through the border without producing their passport, relying wholly on facial recognition technology,’ he said.

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