Airports Pivot To Biometric Kiosks to Ease Traveling - Identity Review - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank

Ensuring a seamless travel experience has been a top priority for airports around the world. In order to achieve this, airports have focused on installing biometric kiosks to assist passengers in efficiently and securely moving through checkpoints.

Los Angeles International Airport, a major West Coast gateway, unveiled the completion of its Terminal 1 extension last month, known as “Terminal 1.5”. The $477 million project features enhancements such as a new passenger check-in area with self-service kiosks designed with biometric and touch-free capabilities from Materna IPS (Intelligent Passenger Solutions).

“LAX is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation transformation that will help redefine 21st century travel, restart our economy, and reshape how Los Angeles greets the world,” said Mayor Garcetti in a press release. “When it comes to investments and innovation, our airport is in a league of its own — and with the introduction of Terminal 1.5, LAX is completing another leg in its journey toward a stronger future.”

Materna IPS states it’s a “system integrator which assimilates different types of biometrics solutions and software at the passenger touchpoints”. This Materna Group subsidiary already partners with over 100 airports such as Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport and London’s Gatwick Airport.

According to Materna IPS’ website, the aviation company offers two primary fully automated kiosks—the Flex.Kiosk and Pax.Go—that are equipped with modern technology that meet the highest security requirements. The Flex.Kiosk is created with a modular approach which allows airports to flexibly configure the kiosks depending on available space. The Flex.Kiosk features up to three printers and biometrics, RFID and Chip, and PIN payment technologies.

Materna IPS’ Flex.Kiosk. Source: Materna IPS

Materna IPS’ sFlex.Kiosk. Source: Materna IPS

Materna IPS’s other kiosk, the Pax.Go, “has a futuristic design” with an adjustable screen and other features to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Pax.Go can be equipped with a screen ranging from 19 to 32 inches and features optimized integrated printing, scanning and reading modules.

Materna IPS’s Pax.Go. Source: Materna IPS

Materna IPS’s Pax.Go. Source: Materna IPS

In addition to check-in kiosks, Materna IPS offers advancements in technology to create an end-to-end biometric experience for passengers. The company’s leading solution, “Biometrics on the move”, utilizes facial recognition as soon as the passenger enters a specific area.

According to Materna IPS, the passenger only has to walk through security access control, the lounge or self-boarding gate, or receive a bag tag at a self bag drop kiosk. The passenger does not have to actively interact with the biometric identification system. There is no need for the passenger to stop and wait while biometric data is captured for the system to work, which essentially creates an “end-to-end” curbside to gate biometric experience for the customer.

As biometric technology becomes more widespread in airports around the world, Materna IPS is already prepared to offer solutions to airports examining methods to create a more efficient and secure experience for passengers.

Collins Aerospace Goes Touchless

Collins Aerospace, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, has also introduced a contactless kiosk utilizing passengers’ mobile devices to check-in and drop luggage. Collins Aerospace’s “Kiosk Connect” solution allows passengers to scan a QR code with their mobile device, connect to a common use kiosk using the airport Wi-Fi or the kiosk’s built-in Wi-Fi, complete the check-in process on their phones, and receive boarding passes and bag tags—all without touching the kiosk’s screen or downloading any apps.

“When combined with our secure biometric solutions and self-service airport products, this new feature enables travelers to experience a contactless airport journey all the way from check-in to boarding,” said LeAnn Ridgeway, vice president and general manager, Information Management Services for Collins Aerospace in a press release. “As we work to help the aviation industry rebuild passenger confidence in flying, it’s incredibly important to us to provide solutions to improve safety.”

Passenger using Collins Aerospace’s contactless kiosk. Source: Raytheon

Passenger using Collins Aerospace’s contactless kiosk. Source: Raytheon

Collins Aerospace’s Kiosk Connect solution expands upon its ARINC SelfPass—a secure biometric system that can complete a passenger’s contactless journey with a single token ID. The SelfPass can be used at several checkpoints through a passenger’s screen process, such as immigration, check-in and boarding.

Similar to Materna IPS’s “Biometrics on the move”, Collins Aerospace is using facial recognition technology to create an “end-to-end” seamless experience for passengers by removing the need to constantly show travel documents. According to the company, a passenger’s face becomes their boarding pass, which leads to increased customer satisfaction, strengthened security and cost-effective operations.

The SelfPass has already been installed at Las Vegas International Airport’s international gates. Passengers move toward a camera for a facial scan to verify their identity with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Traveler Verification Service, which retrieves their boarding details and allows the passenger to proceed through the gate.

“We have a 20-year history of successfully collaborating with Las Vegas Airport and we’re ready to help them streamline the passenger journey even further with expanded use of our SelfPass biometric solution,” said Christopher Forrest, vice president of Global Airport Systems for Collins Aerospace, in a press release. “SelfPass takes less than one second to capture and process a passenger’s facial image and eliminates the need to repeatedly present travel documents, making the process more efficient for both passengers, airlines and airports.”

As the world and aviation industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, customers expect airlines and airports to implement safety measures to restore confidence in traveling. Collins Aerospace is primed to deliver technological solutions to the industry, with many more to follow.


Roger Lu is an aviation enthusiast and analyst researching the implications of technology on global travel. He enjoys writing about how data is utilized in the context of aviation security and customer experience.

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