SITA’s Smart Path biometric solution is entering advanced test stages in numerous airport projects in the Asia-Pacific region, and is looking to throw its hat into the ring for some potential airport bids.

Currently, SITA will be starting a three-month trial with Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), as part of the latter’s Airport 4.0 masterplan to introduce new technologies, as well as increase the usage of biometric and self-service kiosks to help ease congestion. Installation of the various systems is now underway. Currently, SITA has provided KLIA with self service bagdrop solutions in KLIA as well as for AirAsia in klia2. 

Speaking to ATW at the FTE Asia exhibition in Singapore, SITA president-Asia Pacific Sumesh Patel said SITA will be responding to Changi Airport Group’s request for proposal for a holistic biometric solution for Terminal 1, 2 and 3 with Smart Path. He said when it supplied individual solutions for Terminal 4 a few years ago, biometrics single token identity management not a focus at that point of time, as biometrics facial recognition technology was in it early stages. 

While a number of unidentified Asian airports are testing the system now, Patel revealed that Brisbane Airport is one of the airports that has completed trials. Qantas also embarked on a trial with SITA for Smart Path on mobile, where passengers could check-in via mobile phones using biometrics as well as access to lounges.

In September, SITA signed an MOU with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) to research the use of pseudo satellites or high-altitude drones for space-based direct VHF communications for air traffic control services in the Singapore flight information region. SITA is in talks with both Airbus and Boeing for such projects, but Patel said the decision will be jointly made by CAAS and SITA.

Airbus said in October that Singapore is keen to test the Zephyr for similar purposes.

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com