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5 TECHNOLOGIES PROMISING TO PUT AIRPORTS ON THE RUNWAY TO RECOVERY
Air travel clearly has been one of the big business casualties of Covid-19. Although The International Air Transport Association expects global air passenger traffic to rise to 2.8 billion in 2021, up from 18 billion in 2020, that still would fall far short of the 4.5 billion people who flew in 2019.
This isn’t the first slump to hit the aviation industry. Nineteen years ago, travel demand plummeted amid security fears after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And that forced airports to re-invent themselves and provide a level of security that would make people feel safe. For airports across the world, the pandemic is proving to be a new moment of reset — to attract, excite and reassure travelers.
Here are five enterprise technologies promising to transform airports and help them revive and thrive in a post-Covid world:
It’s hardly surprising to see that a lot of facial recognition-based touchless technology is being fast-tracked to reduce the contact between passengers and airport officials. The Transportation Security Administration, for instance, has begun testing a self-service facial recognition system to verify traveler IDs. Launched at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, passengers will insert their IDs, driver’s licenses, or passports into scanners instead of handing them to TSA officers. Several other airports, such as Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport and London’s Heathrow, are also planning to roll out facial recognition for check-ins by the end of the year.
Blockchain Credential Authentication
As airports and aviation authorities begin relying on facial recognition, they will turn to technologies like blockchain to validate passengers’ data without compromising their privacy. Blockchain attaches an anonymous token to the verified passenger data, so airlines, airport authorities and security agencies can validate passengers’ biographic and biometric data, and check who they say they are without needing to see the data another agency or a competing airline holds. Software platforms, such as Zamna and Blockchain Sandbox, already use blockchain to connect the passenger information sets siloed among airlines, governments, and safety agencies and create a paperless pre-flight experience, from check-in to boarding.