It is clear that the challenges to airport security are not minor. In fact, at some point, experts question the degree of effectiveness of conventional security solutions in an airport. For instance, even with advanced analytics, video surveillance solutions are not fool-proof. This is one of the reasons several companies are investing in offering new solutions in this vertical. Going beyond just security, these products not only serve to enhance the everyday operations of the airport but also give us an idea of the technological possibilities in making traveling an easier and safer activity.
One of the popular technologies that airport authorities are looking to adopt is facial recognition. Media reports indicate several airports across the globe being keen to test this, but a recent news from Australia suggests that airports down under could pioneer in utilizing facial recognition.
Last year the Australian government had announced a Seamless Traveller project, considered a radical overhaul of the country’s travel system. An ambitious initiative within this project is a move towards replacing passports with biometric recognition of their faces, irises and/or fingerprints.
The government aims to have 90 percent of the travelers processed automatically, with no human intervention at all, by 2019-20. If implemented within this time frame, it would be world’s first country to make extensive use of facial recognition technology for the seamless travel experience.
Shawn Enides, Global Business Development Manager for Critical Infrastructure and Transportation at Genetec
suggested that what we really need to do is look at how the use of security equipment is evolving in airports.
“Operational airport personnel are equally using their technology to look at things such as passenger and vehicle flow, and parking optimization to set the tone for the whole airport experience,” Enides said. “One new concept is ‘silent airports’, which aim to improve the ambience and passenger experience, thereby attracting more travellers and making the airport more commercially successful.”
Think of the difference between an airport terminal 20 years ago and now, for example, the range of shopping and dining adventures a traveller can have today, Enides added. Data has always been in large supply in an airport environment, but more questioning is being had on how to leverage this data compounded with the infrastructure in place in the environment. Activities such as baggage handling, parking, lighting controls, facilities infrastructure and building management data are all being reviewed for how to increase the effectiveness of the environment through true unification and more adept visualization and analytics.