Lufthansa employees test biometric check-in

Von Computing SA

In its efforts to make its airport handling processes faster, more secure and more efficient, some 400 Lufthansa employees at Frankfurt Airport have begun testing fingerprint-based check-in and boarding procedures.

In a second stage to be launched next year, the "Trusted Traveller" project will be transferred to real-life operation at the airport and also offered at a second pilot airport -- initially for frequent flyers on a voluntary basis.

The solution was developed and implemented by the IT service partner Siemens Business Services (SBS), with the support of the Siemens software subsidiary PSE.

When checking in at the terminal, Lufthansa passengers have their fingers scanned and stored in a database. Together with the check-in information, the fingerprint is printed in encrypted form as a bar code on the boarding pass. During boarding, the code on the pass is then checked against the actual fingerprint, and if matched, the passenger is free to board the plane.

At present, biometric procedures in air traffic control are voluntary, but they could in future be made mandatory by E.U. directive.