Ever imagined a day when one can travel to international destinations without any passport, boarding passes and just with the support of one’s biometrics can stroll through the Airport, check in’s made hassle-free for their flights, only digitalized quick five minutes immigration formalities, as well enter their respective lounges and at last board their flights.
True. What’s to be heard and to be witnessed shortly will drive this imagination into reality as UAE is all geared up in launching the world’s first-ever unique, innovative, and completely digitalized integrated “Biometric Path” that takes the airport customer experience, travel experience to a completely different magnitude.
In the wake of driving UAE to a complete digitalized economy 2031 policy, the latest biometric technology effectively puts optimum utilization of- A mix of facial scanning and iris recognition thus ending the long hour’s wait at passport, Id screening terminals at the Airports and thereby directly accessing respective lounges once the procedure is completed and at last boarding the flights hassle-free thus, providing in a seamless, unique airport journey.
Let’s now sneak peek into what and how this technology does to transform the otherwise lengthy airport schedule to a different magnitude.
Multiple points to be screened and to be utilized for optimum use of biometric technology viz right from check-in to boarding points is first, unique, and innovative in the world scenario in terms of its integration across airport stakeholders.
The advanced stage of implementation with the testing program is already in “live” scenes, and pilot trials involving passengers to follow is soon to be launched.
In phased development since 2015, the multi-million-dollar faceted program is part of Emirates’ continued investment into offering an innovative, unique never heard before industry-leading customer experience
It also allows hassles of late-minute entries and frisking activities as well as reducing the overall time taken to board the flight from check-in point, especially for International customers from an Hour and a half, two hours to just five to ten minutes.
Trials for the Smart Tunnel, a project by the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) in collaboration with Emirates Airlines, was launched on 10th October. It is a unique, innovative world-first for passport control, wherein the passengers walk through a tunnel and are “cleared” by immigration authorities without human intervention or the need for a physical passport stamp.
This is because its full system and cloud-integrated technology, wherein with the advanced biometrics as well as voice-based Iris recognition, can identify anyone even in case they have entirely changed their identities.
Once its internal tests are completed, Emirates will shortly launch trials for biometric processing at the other key customer points at the airport – check-in, lounge, and boarding gate – and subsequently at transit counters/gates, and for its chauffeur drive services.
All biometric data will be stored with GDRFA, and customers invited to participate in the trials will be asked for their consent.
During the ongoing GITEX Technology Week show on previous Sunday, Major General Mohammad Al Merri, General Director of GDRFA-Dubai, stated that “Their participation this year in GITEX is unique especially for all visitors as they can experience the most exciting and virtual Biometric Passenger Journey in the world with support of optimum utilization of artificial intelligence”.
Meanwhile, as stated by Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer: “We continue to improve our services with the latest, newest unique, innovative, as well as most affordable and integrated technologies aiming in to provide a customer journey that is seamless and fast.
“Our collaboration with the GDRFA has resulted in the world’s first “Biometric path” – giving all our passengers a world-class travel experience at Dubai International Airport. The experience we are showcasing with GDRFA at GITEX Technology Week is the first look at our groundbreaking initiatives and the future of travel.”
Mr. Redha also stated that “Guided by their Chief His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates continuously strives harder in its constant quest to innovate as well as to improve their day-to-day business operations. After extensive research and evaluation of numerous technologies and new approaches to enhance their airports’ passenger journey, we are now satisfied with the preliminary work that has been carried out and is ready to commence live trials of the world’s first biometric path at Emirates Terminal 3.”
He, along with General Mohammad Al Merri, General Director of GDRFA-Dubai, also added that “the groundbreaking initiatives have been fruitful and guided through perfection with eventual collaboration with their stakeholders – particularly GDRFA who have been instrumental in the program to bring the biometric path to fruition.”
The recent launch of the Smart Tunnel trial by GDRFA is a great achievement, and that truly demonstrates the uniqueness and as well as the collaborative intent and nature of innovation at the Dubai airport. All systems will eventually be linked with each other resulting in better service to our customers and a happier journey, whether arriving, departing, or transiting in Dubai.
Mr. Redha also stated that “It is pretty much in line with the brand promise of ‘Fly Better’ caption as provided by Emirates Airlines. Sooner a completely secured data based on customer integrated participation, and their feedback will be taken in the trials for the biometric path.”
Emirates’ “biometric path” will be aiming in largely
Extending and improvising overall customer flight and airport experience and customer flow through the airport with a hassle-free fewer document-based check and less queuing, screening, etc.
Eventually, the “live” passenger tracking capability will also improve security and the airline’s ability to deliver even better and more personalized services.
For illustration, it will enable the Emirates airport team to locate and assist ‘late’ customers who would otherwise miss their flights. Nab the frequent offenders etc. It will also offer jobs to millions as for having a dedicated round the clock crew for providing the best in class facilities for the travelers. Thereby with this initiative, Emirates wishes to up the ante and to be touted as the world’s best in class facility airport for touring.