Thales selected to prepare France for new Entry/ Exit system

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In an effort to secure borders in France ahead of the new Schengen Area Entry/ Exit System,which will come into effect from February 2022 to register non-European citizens crossing an EU external border, the French Government has selected Thales to install several hundred biometric entry and exit registration systems at various border crossings including airports situated throughout the country.

“This new European entry and exit system represents a major challenge for Member States,” said the French Ministry of the Interior. “On the one hand, they are required to be ready and compliant with the regulations by 2022; on the other hand, they are faced with the operational reality and the fact that millions of people have to be processed each year, for whom we want to offer the smoothest possible experience,” stated the French Ministry of the Interior.”

In line with the directive approved by the European Union, those countries that are part of the Schengen Area will be required to deploy pre-registration kiosks or similar equipment in order to allow non-schengen visitors to register their identity quickly and securely, including their biometric data (fingerprint and facial biometrics).

“Thales’ expertise in identity and border management provides us with technological reliability, without having to make a choice between security and ease of use,” added the French Ministry of the Interior.

The Thales Gemalto Border Kiosks will incorporate various document verification and biometric technologies, offering rapid registration for travellers, as well as highly accurate identity verification, data management protection and advanced operational fluidity at border crossings.

“The pre-registration kiosks are equipped with our state-of-the-art technologies for identity creation and verification,” explained Youzec Kurp – SVP Identity and Biometric Solutions at Thales. “They are based on software optimised for ultra-rapid checks of a document’s authenticity and intelligent detection of any attempted identity fraud. We have therefore been able to develop high-performance tools to support operations, without compromising the safety and protection of travellers’ data.”

Editor’s comment: Transforming the way we travel

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The evolving behavioural patterns of passengers as a result of the global pandemic has led to a need for airports to reduce points of physical contact and address areas where space is restricted to help ensure the wellbeing of passengers and staff.

EUROCONTROL has already said that with health and safety a top priority across the global travel sector, airports need to focus on reducing the impact of space constraints across their facilities. In a study published in September, EUROCONTROL highlighted that for the same passenger numbers in a pre-COVID queue 50% more space is now required at check-in, while 100% more space is needed at security control and immigration.

Addressing the issue of space constraints in airports, travel technology specialist Amadeus is already engaged in a significant number of projects globally, that are aimed at reducing congestion in airports by implementing contactless technology and fostering a more streamlined passenger experience.

Current projects include deploying biometric boarding capabilities at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in the US and facilitating a completely touchless experience across 20 of Norway’s airports.

In a recent study commissioned by Amadeus more than 6,000 travellers across France, Germany, India, Singapore, the UK and the US were quizzed on their concerns around air travel in light of COVID-19 and the technologies the industry can leverage to boost confidence and accelerate demand.

More than four in five (84%) travellers said technology would increase their confidence to travel in the next 12 months by addressing concerns around mixing with crowds, social distancing and physical touchpoints. More than a third (36%) said self-service check-in would increase confidence to travel in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 34% of travellers surveyed said biometrics that enable check-in, pass-through security and boarding without the need for physical checks would make them more likely to travel.

I’m firmly in the ‘say yes to biometrics’ camp. I signed my face away on social media a long time ago, so COVID or no COVID anything that helps reduce pressure points in an airport gets my vote!

For more insights from Amadeus make sure you subscribe now to receive your complimentary copy of the upcoming issue of Regional Gateway. It features Bruno Spada, Amadeus’s Executive VP Airport IT, explaining how the cloud can help regional airports respond to COVID-19.

Have a great weekend,

Chloë Greenbank

Editor, Regional Gateway

fort lauderdale hollywood airport biometric amadeus

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport introduces biometric boarding with Spirit Airlines

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fort lauderdale hollywood airport biometric amadeus

Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport in Florida has partnered with Amadeus to enable biometric boarding for all international departures with Spirit Airlines.

Using Amadeus’ facial-recognition technology passengers departing from the Florida hub can now scan their face instead of their boarding pass when boarding their flight. The upgrade delivers a touchless boarding experience whilst complying with the US Customs & Border Protection Agency (CBP) requirements for all international travellers to biometrically validate when they have left the country.

Spirit Airlines, which is rolling out reduced-contact experiences for travellers across the country, is the first carrier at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood to use the new touchless technology. “Biometric technology will let us make the trip from curb to gate faster and easier, and it’s part of what we call the ‘Airport of the Future,’” said Spirit Vice President of Airport Services, Mike Byrom.

Passengers are verified to depart when they step in front of one of the new ‘Biopods’ from ICM Airport Technics, an Amadeus company, installed at 14 of Spirit’s traditional departure gates in Terminal 4. Each ‘Biopod’ features a high-resolution 3D camera and secure encrypted connectivity to the CBP Traveller Verification System (TVS). The image captured at the boarding gate is then matched against the images stored by CBP. In line with privacy regulations, no personal biometric data is stored by Spirit, the airport, other airlines or Amadeus.

Once passengers have been verified, a unique tokenised identity representing the respective traveller is generated. The airline is alerted to the fact that passenger is now boarding the aircraft.

Commenting on the new service, Mark Gale, CEO/ Director of Aviation at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport said: “If they wish, international departing passengers from Fort Lauderdale can now choose a completely automated and technology-enabled experience during boarding, without the need to interact with an agent.”

Betros Wakim, President Airport IT Americas, Airport IT, Amadeus added: “Our mission is to deliver a safer and more streamlined passenger experience. We have therefore built an end-to-end and scalable biometric solution that is flexible enough to deploy any biometric hardware device from check-in kiosks to self-bag drop devices to biometric boarding gates. The solution is easily integrated with airline systems allowing an airport to rapidly add biometric capability,”