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Biometric technology ensures contactless journeys possible at Beijing Capital


New biometric technology can ensure a completely contactless experience for passengers passing through Beijing Capital International Airport.

The human-free journey is possible as the airport has completely automated the entire passenger journey using SITA technology – from check-in and bag drop through to immigration, security, and finally boarding.

As a result, passengers only need to enrol once during check-in then, according to SITA, experience “a seamless journey through the airport enabled by facial recognition”.

Improved processing efficiency should mean shorter queuing time and more social distancing for all passengers.

SITA notes that an added benefit during the COVID-19 era is that the process removes the need to touch any airport equipment, reducing the risk of infection.

“SITA Smart Path has already proven that it can significantly speed up passenger processing at BCIA, processing over 400 passengers boarding an Airbus A380 in less than 20 minutes,” says SITA.

“Beyond passenger processing, it also enables hands-free and touchless duty-free payment, removing the need to retrieve and show a boarding pass at check out. This significantly improves the customer experience making duty-free quick, contactless and convenient at a time when airports need increased revenue.”

Beijing Capital’s SITA Smart Path solution is the largest rollout of its kind to date, covering over 600 biometric checkpoints through the airport including 250 lanes of automatic gates, 80 kiosks, and 30 self-bag drop stations which will process passengers from international flights.

The biometric technology is currently activated across multiple checkpoints at BCIA including manual check-in, self-service check-in, bag drop, restricted access, security, and boarding. From an airport efficiency view, the solutions have improved capacity and created a low-touch (paperless) environment for all while allowing staff to focus on passengers who need help with their travel.

Sumesh Patel, SITA’s president for the Asia-Pacific region, says: “Automation is more important than ever in this COVID-19 environment to better enable social distancing and passenger flow without compromising processing times.

“The Beijing Capital implementation is our most comprehensive deployment of next-generation technology and signposts growing interest from the market to automate and optimize airport operations through smart technology.

“With duty-free shopping now also optimised by SITA Smart Path we’re beginning to uncover the full potential of biometrics to boost passenger safety, convenience and confidence, in turn helping the air transport industry to recover and evolve.”

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