Domestic airports in So Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are set to implement totally computerized boarding processes based on facial biometrics, according to news released today (11).

To carry out the implementation, airport operator Infraero and state-owned IT company Serpro inked a technical collaboration agreement.

The decision came after trials involving over 6,000 passengers traveling between the Congonhas and Santos Dumont airports that began in 2020. The most recent stage of the pilots, which took place between November 2021 and January 2022, featured around 200 cabin crew members.

The new feature was procured by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ministry of Economy’s Special Secretariat for Management and Digital Government as part of the continuing Safer Boarding program.

 

Serpro created the facial biometrics system with input from a variety of stakeholders, including the Civil Aviation Authority, airlines, and airport operators.

Amadeus, Biomtech, Collins, Digicon, Gunnebo, Rockwell Collins, Pacer, SITA, Wolpac, Idemia, and Azul/Pacer are among the IT companies involved in the process.

 

The Serpro application allows airline workers to do biometric validation at check-in by matching the data and photo with government databases using the passenger’s personal data, social security number, and a photo taken on the spot. Users can then go to the boarding gates and board the plane without needing to show identification or a boarding pass.

Both Infraero and Serpro will assign teams to oversee and deploy the solution in the future. Infraero plans to tender for the equipment needed to completely install the facial recognition system this month, with the equipment scheduled to be operational by July. Serpro will supply an ID verification engine for the project in the meanwhile.

The Brazilian government indicated at the time the cabin crew pilots were announced that negotiations between the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Civil Aviation Secretariat, airports, and airlines were at an advanced stage for the full deployment of biometric boarding across all airports in 2022.

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