The unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted large parts of the world economy. The global aviation industry is amongst those severely affected sectors with 60% decline in world total air passengers in 2020, according to a recent report from ICAO. Even when the crisis has passed, the aviation industry is expected to experience new paradigm, where contactless process favoring by biometrics for a more hygienic journey and health/vaccine status might be required.
Considering the fact that the air passenger journey includes various contact-requiring stages, e.g., check-in procedure, security screening, border control, etc., it is more urgent now than ever to move forward with a seamless, self-service experience for passengers, especially during this COVID-19 crisis.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had launched the OneID initiative, even before the pandemic, to offer an opportunity for the passengers to further streamline their journey with a document-free process based on identity management and biometric recognition. The utilization of biometric technology includes fingerprint, face and iris scanning. However, as fingerprint requires physical contact which increases the possibilities of cross-contamination for subsequent users, and face recognition is limited due to partial concealment of mask for safety purpose in public area, iris scanning seems to be the most appropriate method. Gemini iris recognition devices developed by Iritech can be used to integrate to airport kiosks for a seamless, contactless and more secure air passenger process.
Regarding the health checking status, additional requirements towards health status records might be further implemented, e.g., health documents or travel authorization, etc. All these valuable data allow government agencies to perform timely actions when detecting risky elements. These measures prove to be necessary, if not to say indispensable, especially after such COVID-19 epidemic.
One thing needs to be considered is the privacy and security concern coming hand in hand with the operation of health data – one extremely sensitive information. In this regard, Vaccine Passport is currently well-known as being a new normal for not only border control systems but also for the revitalization of airlines. Numerous solutions have been proposed but not yet to solve the public concern. To address the issue, Iritech’s Vaccine Passport had applied one of the most innovative technology in the proposed system.
All in all, this new paradigm will soon widely be implemented in global airlines, first, to recover the vital business, and second, to ensure the safety and experience of all passengers.