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Vision-Box and Terminal One Group Association (TOGA) announce a landmark agreement providing seamless biometric boarding at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Lufthansa is the launch carrier deploying the one-step paperless biometric boarding process at their largest US gateway. Air France, Japan Airlines, and Norwegian Airlines are expected to follow suit, as part of all 22 international carriers operating from JFK Terminal 1.

The digital advancement of the passenger experience at JFK’s Terminal One is a partnership between Vision-Box, TOGA, and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). With rising passenger volumes and demand for quicker and contactless processes, TOGA turned to seamless biometrics as a primary solution. Boarding airplanes with up to 500 passengers in under 20 minutes have tremendously improved the guest experience with using facial recognition to replace passport and boarding pass checks.

The biometric platform is designed to securely identify travelers with a brief glance at a camera and instantly verify their identity with US CBP. The seamless and efficient one-step process validates the eligibility of the traveler without having to present a passport or boarding pass. Aircraft entry is accomplished with a full digital boarding experience, where passengers are boarded in a seamless and paced way, allowing the airlines to save time and gain efficiencies.

Being an innovation leader aiming to ensure maximum passenger privacy and security, Vision-Box’s seamless boarding solution is certified by the Privacy-by-Design seal from the leading authorities in this matter. This means that personal biographic and biometric data is managed by a thoroughly audited and certified software platform designed for maximum protection. No personal data or images is stored by private entities and only US government maintains the US departure information.

The delivered platform accommodates the individual carriers’ boarding processes through next-generation common-use services enabling JFK with one of the largest biometric boarding capability planned to be successfully deployed in the US.

The deployment of biometric boarding has strategic purposes for the US Government as well. The boarding solution was fast tracked for use by CBP’s Biometric Exit program, with positive results outlined in the Fiscal Year 2018 Entry/Exit Overstay Report by the US Department of Homeland Security. Within the next four years, it is expected that CBP’s Biometric Exit technology will cover more than 97% of departing commercial air travelers.

How the biometric boarding platform works

The passenger approaches a self-boarding eGate. A biometric-enabled camera ergonomically integrated in the eGate captures the passenger’s facial image.
The image is securely sent to the CBP TVS (Traveler Verification Service), which conducts a matching process with the stored digital facial token, captured at the initial immigration process or from the US passport. Within seconds the system reconciles the passenger identity and his eligibility to enter the flight. The positive match of both verifications triggers to open the eGate doors and the passenger can board the airplane.

More security and efficiency

The solution is based on Vision-Box’s Orchestra shared biometric services platform, enabling a quick and secure data exchange between stakeholders for a fast, intuitive and seamless process. It provides unprecedented security by confirming to the highest degree of certainty the identity of boarding passengers and the authenticity of their documents utilizing Department of Homeland Security CBP Traveler Verification Service.
The self-boarding eGates are integrated with an advanced face capture unit for high quality image capture, next-gen liveness detection and were designed to offer an ergonomic passage, a friendly experience, and high speed in passenger throughput. Also offering a self-service method to change seats. As one result, airline operations are improved by automated reliable boarding which also secures an on-time departure.

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