UK airport to trial biometric technology

  • WTTC to coordinate world’s first round-trip pilot of seamless biometric technology to transform the traveller experience 

    Passengers will be able to move more efficiently, faster and securely through every part of the travel experience after the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the body which represents the global private sector for Travel & Tourism announced a series of pilot schemes to test the use of biometric technology throughout the end-to-end passenger journey.

    In first half of 2019, passengers will be able to trial the application of biometric technology at every stage of the travel process - from the point of booking, check-in, through airports, airline boarding, border management, car hire, hotel, cruise and during the journey. 

    The first pilot will see travellers on round-trips between London and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport using biometric technology to conduct all airline security, airport and border processes before accessing car rental and hotel check-in using the same biometric information. 

    WTTC is working with American Airlines, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Hilton, and MSC Cruises on plans for this first step towards the immense task of changing how people will travel which will have profound benefits for the traveller and the future of the industry. All of these corporations and the members of WTTC share a commitment to making the travel process safer and more efficient through the use of biometric technology. 

    WTTC has also invited the United States Customs and Border Protection and UK Border Agency to collaborate on the first pilot. Consulting firm Oliver Wyman is supporting WTTC with the overall Seamless Traveller Journey programme. 

    Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “In 2019 travellers between Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and London will be able to experience the future of travel. Our vision is that the traveller won’t need to provide the same information or passport multiple times. Instead, their experience will be seamless, faster and more enjoyable throughout their entire journey. Biometrics will work at every touchpoint of the journey to make travelling easier for the passenger while providing border services with greater security. 

    “99.9% of travellers are considered low risk. By using technology to minimise queues, we can give low-risk travellers more time to enjoy the travel experience. These travellers, by using technology, will be able to spend their time enjoying the experience, shopping at airports or more time at destinations rather than worrying about long queues.

    “Travel & Tourism employs one in ten people on the planet today and over the course of the next 20 years we will witness a doubling of the number of travellers and the creation of as many as 100 million jobs around the world. We have a responsibility to prepare for the future by transforming the traveller experience while increasing security by working together and with governments.”

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