UAE: No passport, no ticket, your face is your boarding pass; Abu Dhabi airport starts biometric service

The solutions will be implemented at select self-service baggage touchpoints, immigration e-gates, and boarding gates and then applied across all passenger touchpoints in the airport

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 19 Dec 2022, 5:09 PM

Last updated: Mon 19 Dec 2022, 6:46 PM

The first phase of deploying a hi-tech next-gen biometric initiative has been rolled out at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, wherein passengers will use their faces to get a boarding pass and avail of other services.

Abu Dhabi-based tech company NEXT50 will introduce its cutting-edge AI solutions alongside global artificial intelligence and technology solutions partners IDEMIA and SITA at select self-service baggage touchpoints, immigration e-gates, and boarding gates before implementing the technology across all passenger touchpoints in the airport. New technology will enhance the passenger journey and establish Midfield Terminal Building as the first international airport with biometric capabilities at all customer touchpoints.

NEXT50 CEO Ibrahim Al Mannaee underlined that the biometrics project comes as part of the Emirate’s digital transformation vision. “Once the project is fully realised, the airport will be the only airport in the region with biometric solutions implemented across all customer touchpoints, contributing to Abu Dhabi Airport’s vision to become the operator of the most technology-driven airport in the world, providing a seamless journey to all its passengers. We are proud to be joining forces with IDEMIA and SITA and offering our expertise in artificial intelligence and data sciences to make this initiative a reality.”

Once the project is delivered, it will offer passengers a convenient, simplified, contactless and hygienic experience from ‘curb-to-gate’. This will result in reduced wait times and less time queuing for passengers.

Eng Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri
Eng Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri

Eng Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, MD and CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “The phase one deployment of advanced biometrics at Abu Dhabi International Airport further cements our commitment to shape the future of airport experiences by delivering innovation and technology that drives efficiency, convenience and service excellence. Upon final completion of the project, Abu Dhabi will be home to the world’s first airport to include every touch point in the biometric journey, providing travellers with a seamless, safe and secure passenger experience.”

The systems will use hi-tech biometric cameras to verify passenger details along several touchpoints in the airport, which includes the self-service baggage drop, passport control, business class lounge, and boarding gates.

Hani El Assaad
Hani El Assaad

Hani El Assaad, president Middle East and Africa, SITA, said: “The airport of the future will be driven by technology that enables safe, seamless, and easy travel every step of the way. This latest deployment showcases the power of Smart Path to deliver a fluid journey where a passenger’s face becomes their boarding pass, from check in to boarding.”

Osama Al Makharmeh
Osama Al Makharmeh

Osama Al Makharmeh, executive director, IDEMIA, UAE commented on the biometrics project. “This partnership harnesses contactless biometric technology that gives users an unrivalled airport experience without letting up one jot on security. This bears out our capacity to constantly innovate to safeguard passenger trust and help pave the way for even smoother and more secure future travel.”


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