Passengers flying with British Airways from
Orlando International Airport (MCO) to London Gatwick can now use
biometric boarding at the gate.
A quick photo is all that is needed to
board the international flight – no passport, no boarding card.
SITA integrated automated boarding gates with the US Customs
and Border Protection (CBP) and airline’s IT systems to allow the
necessary checks and authorize boarding.
Raoul Cooper, Digital Airport Design Manager,
British Airways, said, “Our customers are always our first
priority and we want to make their journey as smooth as possible.
Working closely with SITA at Orlando has allowed us to explore
various ways of incorporating the US biometric exit check.
Together we have designed a really smooth and secure departure
process for our customers, including children, as they leave
Orlando. This complements the learning and insight we have gained
in Los Angeles where a similar technology trial is under way.”
The move is a joint initiative by the Greater
Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), British Airways and CBP to
incorporate the US biometric departure (exit) check for passengers
as smoothly as possible.
John Newsome, Chief Information Officer, GOAA,
said, “This innovative boarding process is already proving popular
with passengers. They simply look at the camera and within seconds
the gate opens and they can board the flight. It is easy, fast and
most importantly, secure. While we are currently using SITA’s
gates for biometric exit with British Airways, they are common-use
boarding gates so they can be easily used by other airlines at
The option to board at Orlando by simply looking
into a camera is available now to British Airways passengers on
flight BA 2036 to London Gatwick. The trial will run for up to 90
days. Participation is optional and passengers can choose to
provide their passport and other documents to an agent to board
the flight. British Airways says that during the early days of the trial, the response from
passengers has been very positive with nearly 100% of
passengers opting to simply look in the camera and board the
Diana Einterz, SITA President, Americas, said,
“We are working closely with the US CBP, airlines and airports to
test different ways of doing the US biometric exit check. This
includes our recent award-winning work with JetBlue at Boston
Logan International Airport, and British Airways at Los Angeles
International Airport. We have designed this solution to meet the
needs of all parties. It is based on industry-standard common-use
gates so it can be used by any other airline at Orlando and by
airlines at any other common-use airport.”
The use of biometrics is growing globally and
SITA is a world-leader using biometrics to deliver secure seamless
journeys for airline passengers. SITA Smart Path, which is in use
in Brisbane Airport, Australia, provides a walkthrough experience
from check-in to the aircraft door helping passengers fast-track
through the airport.
SITA provides self-service solutions at every
step of the passenger journey from check-in to boarding at
airports across the world. More than 165 airlines use SITA’s
passenger processing applications while its common-use systems
board more than 100 million passengers per year. Today, the
provides border management solutions to more than 40 governments
across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Einterz added: “SITA is the global provider to
the air transport industry and we develop our solutions for
airlines and airports so that they are scalable and work in
multiple environments worldwide. Our integration of the automated
boarding gates is being investigated with US CBP, British Airways
and Orlando International Airport for speed and efficiency of
passenger processing as they do accurate border checks. Our
performance analysis of this trial will help all our partners
evaluate how best they can use biometrics to meet their individual
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