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Nice Côte d’Azur Airport Testing New Mobile Boarding Pass

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Until October 30, 2009, members of Nice Airport’s passenger programme, Club Airport Premier (CAP) and Air France’s frequent flyer programme travelling on the Nice-Paris Orly domestic route will pilot a new boarding device, Pass and Fly.

The pilot project aims to simplify passenger recognition, the crediting of CAP points and airplane boarding, through the use of a mobile phone that is Near Field Communication (NFC) - enabled. It is one of the first times in air travel that NFC, a short-range, wireless connectivity technology is being used to enable mobile boarding passes.

NFC integrates wireless technology into mobile phones, allowing interaction among electronic devices. This means it enables the passenger to be identified and also obtain a digital boarding pass when they swipe their mobile phone across a reader that is set up at the airport.

Pass and Fly is a joint innovation project started by Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and Air France, in partnership with Amadeus and IER. To enable the project, Amadeus developed the technology applications for the mobile phones, departure control system and airport readers, to display and share information relevant to the passenger boarding process. IER built and provided the NFC booths and readers which have been integrated in the airport’s infrastructure and connected to Air France’s passenger management system. The French national airline provided the electronic boarding passes.

How the Pass and Fly Project Works

The traveller checks-in through any of the channels enabled by Air France (internet, mobile phone or self-service kiosk). At the airport, the traveller needs to carry a NFC-enabled mobile phone which holds their frequent flyer information. The NFC component is either integrated in the mobile phone or on a sticker that communicates with the phone.

The traveller can go through a fast lane access to security inspection by swiping their mobile phone past the Pass and Fly reader. The machine identifies the passenger and finds their boarding pass corresponding to a flight departing from Nice in the next few hours. The digital boarding pass is then uploaded onto the mobile phone following the IATA format. Nice Airport CAP frequent flyer points are automatically credited so members of the programme no longer need to go to a separate kiosk to obtain these.

Compared with 2-D barcode mobile boarding passes, NFC-enabled mobile phones could even be switched-off or out of battery when communicating with a reader.

At security inspection, the traveller swipes their mobile phone across a second NFC reader which displays their boarding pass to the security staff without the need to display their mobile phone screen. This enables an instant check compared to the traditional manual check.

Finally, at the boarding gate, the airline staff only need to check the travellers’ identification documents. A NFC reader checks the boarding pass and prints a coupon with the seat information, enabling quick boarding of the plane.

NFC is based on existing contactless technology infrastructure that is already in use on a daily basis by millions of people worldwide. NFC has been implemented for payment transactions and can be used to share any data between devices, giving it a huge potential to be deployed for many other services.

See other recent news regarding: Airlines, Aviation, Flights, First Class, Business Class, Hotels, Promotions, New Hotels, Visitor Arrivals, Cruises, Free Deals, Air France, Amadeus, Boarding Pass, Nice, France, Airports, Mobile

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