Air transport industry technology provider SITA has claimed that its Smart Path PoC during a six-month trial at Istanbul Airport (iGA) has helped to enhance customer experience by reducing boarding times and improve operational efficiency.

During the trial, the biometric-enabled proof of concept (PoC), conducted with Turkish Airlines, showed a 30% reduction in boarding times and increased satisfaction of participating passengers and airlines, besides reducing the risks associated with Covid-19 due to the low-touch passenger journey.

The PoC involved the use of biometric technology across several touchpoints including the common use terminal (CUTE) for Smart Path enrolment, PaxCheck boarding pass verification point, iGA lounge access verification and boarding gate verification.

Furthermore, the smart low touch solution enabled airline agents to easily enrol passengers on the existing SITA Flex common-use check-in counters.

The enrolled passengers could scan their face during the entire boarding process right from security check, lounge access, to boarding, without the need to touch any surfaces.

SITA Middle East, India and Africa (MEIA) president Hani El-Assaad said: “SITA is considered as the technology partner of iGA in terms of airport systems and operations with solutions implemented throughout the airport.

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“This latest PoC harnesses existing SITA technology infrastructure, including SITA Smart Path and SITA Flex to further optimise passenger processing at a time when safety and efficiency are in sharp focus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Earlier this month, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and United Airlines (UA) planned to pilot SITA’s Smart Path biometric solution for domestic travellers on select flights.