Facial Recognition Technology Trial for Cathay Pacific Passengers at Amsterdam Schiphol

(Photo: Cathay Pacific)

Passengers traveling with Cathay Pacific can now participate in a trial of facial recognition self-boarding at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. This trial is part of the first phase of Seamless Flow, the project that intends to make paperless travel possible in the long term.

After checking in, passengers are invited to take part in the trial. Participants are escorted to one of the special registration kiosks. At this moment, the passport and the boarding pass are scanned, while a high-quality face image is captured, in order to generate the traveller’s single token.

This will allow passengers to self-process through a boarding gate without having to show any documents. At the departure gate, they use a dedicated biometric-enabled eGate, where they simply have to look at a camera that scans their face. The live photo is automatically compared with the scan that was made at the registration process. When the face is identified, the gate opens and the passenger is boarded on the airline system. This only takes a few seconds.

Wilma van Dijk, Schiphol’s safety and security director commented: “For passengers, the journey from arrival at the airport to boarding becomes easier and more efficient. Now you have to show your passport, your boarding card or both at various checkpoints at the airport, for example, when dropping your luggage, at the entrance to the security check, when passing the border and when you go boarding. In the future you can pass these control points more smoothly because you are recognized by your face. You can leave your passport and boarding pass in the bag.”

Will Kerr-Muir, Cathay Pacific country manager Benelux & France added: “Cathay Pacific is always looking for ways to improve the experience of our customers at every stage of their journey with us, and the experience at the airport is an important and integral part of that journey. We are therefore happy to be part of this innovative trial, in order to prepare ourselves and our passengers for the future way of traveling.”

In the coming months, scanning of the face, passport and boarding pass will be experienced during registration and boarding. The next phase will add passport control to the trial.

To bring this programme to life, a partnership has been established by the Dutch Government, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Cathay Pacific, KLM and Vision-Box, who is responsible for the Seamless Flow technology platform.