Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Sydney Airport and Qantas begin facial recognition trial

Sydney Airport and Qantas begin facial recognition trial

Airport authorities also say that this biometric system will also be available for "lounge staff who can create a more personalized experience" when passengers arrive at the airport's terminal.

Now only Qantas passengers on select worldwide flights are able to make use of these systems during the trial.

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.

Qantas' chief customer officer, Vanessa Hudson, said that airlines and airports needed to offer faster and more convenient experiences and that Qantas was "excited to see what results the trial produces".

Consenting Qantas passengers on select worldwide flights will be the first to participate in the trial.

"We're very excited that select Qantas passengers now have the chance to experience this highly sophisticated technology as part of this landmark trial", said Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert.

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.

Fergus Hanson, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's head of worldwide cyber policy, said facial recognition technology could be abused.

The Australian Government's border processing procedures will remain unchanged and travellers will still be required to undergo the current border processes.

Under the trial, passengers departing Air New Zealand from Brisbane used biometrics at a self-service checkin kiosk and when boarding the aircraft.

Under the trial, passengers will need to consent to using the biometrics system, which adheres to strict privacy standards and complies with relevant legislation, Sydney Airport said.

The first stage of a pilot to test "couch to gate" biometrics at Sydney Airport has gone live.

A number of airports globally have been investigating facial recognition as a way of boosting throughput and making life easier for passengers.

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