Los Angeles Airport Progresses Biometric Boarding Trial

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Vision-Box biometric self-boarding solution is now being used by Lufthansa passengers

“The increasing need for airlines, airports and authorities to offer faster and more convenient processes for guests to move through the airport creates a unique opportunity for the use of biometrics”

After the successful go live of the new contactless biometric self-boarding solution at Los Angeles Airport end of last year, Lufthansa has joined the trial, boarding passengers flying out of the country using their face to be recognized at the gate.

The tests have been running in partnership between Vision-Box, Los Angeles World Airports Authority (LAWA) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in the scope of the US Biometric Exit trial program.

The new technology offers a more convenient, faster boarding process as it allows travelers to board their aircraft in just a few seconds simply by looking into a high-resolution face capture system at the traveler-friendly flow-control gateway. No need to present their passport or boarding pass at the gate.

How does it work?
As passengers approach the self-boarding gates, biometric-enabled cameras capture passengers’ facial images.
The image is securely sent to the CBP system containing the digital facial token captured at the initial immigration process for real-time matching and identification. Within a few seconds, the system reconciles the passenger and his flight, recognizes the passenger as eligible to enter that flight and opens the egate door. The passenger may board the aircraft.
The solution provides unique security benefits for airlines by confirming with high degree of certainty the identity of boarded passengers and authenticity of their documents via CBP Traveler Verification Service. The effective human-factor centric design of the Vision-Box solution results in high passenger throughput and passenger satisfaction. The solution also fully supports boarding modalities with boarding pass scanning and accommodates for seat changes and other boarding operations.

Justin Erbacci, LAX Chief Innovation and Technology Officer, said: “Biometric self-boarding merges two of our highest priorities – improving the guest experience and enhancing security and safety for all those who travel through or work at LAX. We are proud to be the first location in the United States to pilot this unique, paperless, biometric boarding process. CBP, Vision Box and Lufthansa have been tremendous partners in this effort. We plan to release further biometric solutions at LAX as part of our quest to lead the pack in embracing and implementing innovative technology that will benefit our passengers and make their journeys safer, faster and easier.”

Miguel Leitmann, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Vision-Box explained: “Implementing biometric technology able to deliver high quality data that drastically enhance matching accuracy and performance, brings opportunities beyond security and efficiency. This trial in Los Angeles is showing how modern airports are addressing the rising passenger volumes and increasing airport capacity. At the same time, they are promoting a stress free experience for passengers. Having airlines on board sharing this vision creates a very productive collaboration ecosystem with security, efficiency and revenue benefits for all.”

As part of their mission to digitalize the travel world and offer hassle-free passenger experiences, Lufthansa has started piloting Vision-Box facial recognition technology to quickly and reliably process passengers boarding on international flights from Los Angeles Airport. The goal is to roll out biometric processes throughout US airports nationwide.

Last week, around 350 Lufthansa passengers boarded an Airbus A380 in about 20 minutes without showing their travel documents. Facial recognition was enough to ensure their identity and speed their way through the boarding egates. Passengers acclaimed the new solution.

“The increasing need for airlines, airports and authorities to offer faster and more convenient processes for guests to move through the airport creates a unique opportunity for the use of biometrics,” said Bjoern Becker, Senior Director, Product Management Ground and Digital Services for Lufthansa.
“We anticipate that in near time, biometric boarding, as well as other aspects of the air travel experience, will be widely utilized across the U.S. and beyond” he concluded.


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Catarina Meleiro
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Vision-Box solution used by Lufthansa