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.
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
How the Pass and Fly
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.
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
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
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.
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