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Australia’s future airport is closer than you think

Australia’s future airport is closer than you think

Within the next five years, passengers travelling through Australia airports can expect a “seamless” journey, where they don’t need to touch or produce a single thing until they empty their pockets and offload their bags for screening at airport security.

Through the use of biometric technology, a passport will soon be replaced by a traveller’s face, and according to Amadeus Asia Pacific head of airport IT Sarah Samuel, your face could be used to walk straight onto a plane from airport entry.

“It’s not so seamless today, but I think that’s where the future is going to be, where there is as little touchpoints as possible by using biometrics … with your face as your passport and your body parts,” she said.

Some of it is already happening today.

Passengers travelling internationally from Australia via Qantas have been trialling biometric technology at Sydney Airport since July last year, with the first stage using facial recognition for them to complete automated flight check-in and bag drop, gain access to the lounge, and board the plane itself.

“If you didn’t want to speak to anyone you can actually completely avoid it,” Samuel said.

With rapid adoption expected to start later this year, Samuel said the next step of such trials will see no need to take out a boarding pass or passport, leveraging biometrics into the self-service process.

“We’re already doing trials in Europe and in the US and I’m hoping before the end of this year we’ll be doing some trials in Australia and other parts of Asia, we’re getting passengers to actually register themselves on their phones,” she told ZDNet.