Award Nominee


The end to end document-less journey at Sydney International Airport



The rapid expansion of international travel and trans-border crossings at airports have rapidly overwhelmed immigration border security resources available to governments. This exponential rise in the number of international travellers calls for measures to address the strategic priorities impinging on overall success and sustainability of increasing capacity, while offering a positive traveller experience that does not compromise security.

The Fast Passenger Processing System program at SYD began in June 2018 and was designed in cooperation with Vision-Box. It is the first worldwide large scale end-to-end single-token trial. It gives travellers the ability to cross every airport checkpoint using a seamless, fast and secure biometric-based journey that will identify and clear passengers by their facial features alone.

Using a mobile app or check-in kiosk, the traveller uses their facial image to enrol in the biometric-based Identity Management and Passenger Flow Management Platform. From that point forward, FPPS uses the enrolled facial image to provide a seamless, smooth, and identical clearance process, from Bag Drop, to Security, Lounge, ending at Boarding. Biometric identification is conducted on the fly and in a few seconds at each checkpoint, enabling the Airport/Airline systems to be triggered and updated as the passenger progresses. This is entirely done without compromising the biometric capture quality or matching accuracy of the single token. Offering a consistent, repeatable and expected process at each clearance point familiarizes the passenger with the identity procedure and lowers the traveller’s stress level for a more enjoyable airport environment. Additionally, it generates a higher level of security in the risk-management dimension as people-centric intelligence becomes available to identify threat or operational issues.   

The goal is to streamline the entire passenger journey, using face biometric recognition as a replacement of travel documents. Ultimately, the redesigned passenger journey will:

  • Expedite traveller flow via seamless self-service identification
  • Reduce stressful identity checks
  • Eliminate queues and waiting times
  • Increase the appeal of using the airport and enhance commercial opportunities
  • Reduce strains on airport staff
  • Improve security
  • Increases passenger management, ability to leverage data into business intelligence reports and informed decision-making.

The Fast Passenger Processing Solution designed by SYD and Vision-Box is based on:

  • A One-ID traveller model, whereby biometrics is the token that unlocks sequential access across a passenger journey, in alignment with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) One Identity and NEXTT initiatives
  • Redesigned self-service contactless interaction points, combining the latest generation passenger experience enhancements, such as new personalized engagement avatars powered by artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies
  • On-the-move identification processes, whereby;
  • the passenger is recognized on the move using a facial image captured on-the-fly, observing each passenger’s natural walking motion, and without requiring them to stop
  • exceptional human factor ergonomics employing designs centred on the human form and natural movements, minimal obstacles promoting full passenger control, a visual experience eliciting an emotional response from the traveller, and minimal foot print consumption at airports.
  • an individually tailored experience for each passenger
  • Intelligent passenger data orchestration conceptualized from origination according to privacy by design principles
  • Real-time passenger analytics and business intelligence capabilities, providing airport and airlines the ability to know passenger location within the airport ecosystem for delay anticipation, dwell times optimization, direct engagement with their customers to guarantee a smooth, effective and secure journey, and to generate predictive models aiming at delivering enhanced operational efficiencies.

Initially, only Qantas Airways passengers who choose to participate can clear bag drop, security screening, border processing, airport lounge, and boarding gate while showing the passport only once for identity verification and passenger record creation at check-in. Passengers have the option to check-in for their flight from anywhere using a smartphone app with embedded facial recognition technology. This saves time at the airport as passengers can head straight to bag drop or security checkpoint.

The platform is, however, ready to host any additional airline as it is CUSS (Common-Use Self-Service) compliant – certified for both Check-In and Bag Drop, and CUPPS (Common-Use Passenger Processing System) compliant – certified for Self-Boarding.

The FPPS will be running for 6 months and is an industry first. Additional innovation sprints are scheduled to enable additional features throughout piloting time, including identification of returning international passengers from the aircraft jet-way and a personalized experience and expedited arrival process prior to reaching the border. It represents a new generation of contactless passenger experience, biometric recognition technology, IoT, big data management and common-use orchestration. It securely, safely and efficiently clears passengers, operating on the only identity management platform that holds a Privacy by Design™ certification. It is certain to transform how stakeholders in charge of operations throughout the entire aviation sector manage passenger movement and identity, and how travellers view their experience and interaction at airports.

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