Earlier this year, Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport started incorporating facial biometrics technology as part of its digital transformation journey. After several months of successful incorporation and positive feedback from airlines and passengers, the airport is expected to advance fully using biometrics across other aspects of airport operations.
Moving on to the next phase
Facial biometrics was first incorporated in July of this year when El Dorado Airport partnered with Idemia as part of the airport’s cyber-security aspect in its digital transformation strategy. Since then, more than 21,000 passengers have been included in the system, with more than 300 passengers being added in on an average daily basis.
Photo: Viva Aerobus
Concerning the airlines, Avianca and VivaAerobús were the initial two airlines willing to participate in the pilot phase, which included the remote enrolment of several facial biometric portals that allowed passengers to get incorporated into the system from the airline counters, to the gate hold rooms.
With the ongoing success, the airport expects Ultra Air and Wingo to join before the end of the year, and other airlines are scheduled to participate by the first half of next year. The primary airport of Bogota is also expecting to implement biometrics technology for different areas of airport operations, as highlighted by OPAIN, the airport’s management company:
“We firmly believe that today more than ever, technology is a differentiating element in terms of competitiveness, which is why we are working to implement biometric validation in pre-security and boarding processes. In the future, this technology is expected to be implemented in baggage delivery procedures.”
Photo: Getty Images
A step closer to launching the ‘DoradoPass’
By moving on to the next phase of the use of facial biometrics technology, El Dorado is also inching closer to launching the ‘DoradoPass’ facial recognition functionality. This functionality is planned to launch by the end of this year, allowing passengers to create their digital identities from the El Dorado mobile application.
The functionality will capture the unique facial landmarks of each passenger, and this innovative identification technique will be paired with each passenger’s identification and travel documents. Essentially, the function creates a digital, all-in-one passport for passengers traveling through El Dorado Airport, all within the convenience of passengers’ phones and tablets.
Similar to how the Face ID feature works for unlocking iPhones and sensitive content on the phones, the ‘DoradoPass’ will allow passengers to use their face to access various processes across the airport, such as check-in, automated bag drops, and self-boarding gates. Eventually, El Dorado hopes that the ‘DoradoPass’ will efficiently facilitate these processes and create a more pleasant traveling experience for passengers.
Photo: Getty Images
El Dorado announced and outlined its digital transformation roadmap in 2019 as part of the airport’s plan to embrace technological advancements to support the forecasted demanding years for the aviation industry. Even with the unfortunate hit from the pandemic, the airport didn’t halt its transformation plans and has since come a long way in technologically upgrading itself.
Various developments were implemented in recent years, such as 28 automated boarding pass corridors for entry into waiting rooms, 46 self-check-in kiosks, 19 self-bag drop modules, and pre-security lanes with facial biometrics. And with ‘DoradoPass’ on track to launch in the next couple of months, the airport’s transformational journey continues. Once the application functionality is a success, the airport plans to implement facial biometrics for baggage delivery procedures.