Athens International Airport in Greece has become the first airport in Europe to trial SITA Smart Path biometric technology at security.

The new solution enables travellers to use their faces instead of a boarding pass. At check-in, travellers participating in the trial can scan their passport and have their photo taken.

Passengers can subsequently move towards security where they can quickly be verified as a known traveller, eliminating the process of showing a boarding pass. Once their face is scanned, passengers are able to fast-track through security.

Travellers flying with Aegean Airlines from Athens Airport can use this facility.

“It will solve a key challenge for us by ensuring a steady flow of passengers to the security area.”

Athens International Airport IT&T business unit acting director Alexandros Ziomas said: “It has reduced the time taken to check-in and verify passenger identity at security to only a few seconds.

“It will solve a key challenge for us by ensuring a steady flow of passengers to the security area. This is a service we would like to extend to other steps in the journey over time.”

The Smart Path solution can be integrated with the airport’s existing common-use check-in kiosks and boarding gates, which makes it both cost-effective and available to numerous airlines.

The biometric solution can also be customised to meet the specific requirements of an airport or airline. As a result, the airport can provide this service to other airlines in the future, including Aegean’s Star Alliance partners.

SITA Europe president Sergio Colella Europe said: “As most airports around the world already have self-service infrastructure in place, installing Smart Path is cost-effective and easy to implement. It explains the growing interest in this solution from both airlines and airports in Europe and around the world.”

Athens International Airport joins the likes of Brisbane, Doha, Muscat, Orlando, Miami and Boston airports in using SITA’s biometric solutions.