Airport facilitation of passenger services: Biometrics on the rise

Guest Author by Guest Author | Dec 11, 2019

Written by Michael Overkaemping, Product Manager for Access & Biometrics Solutions, Materna IPS

In times of increased security measures, biometric technology is becoming increasingly important. Airports and airlines are constantly looking for ways to make the journey more convenient for passengers, while maintaining strict security standards. Biometrics offer the perfect solution for a safe and convenient travel experience.

According to individual requirements of the airports there are different biometric solutions including face recognition, fingerprint, and iris identification that can be assimilated at passenger touchpoints. A fully integrated biometric solution allows an easy passenger identification on site and fastens the airport journey. The importance and actuality of this topic becomes even more obvious regarding events like the Biometric Rally. Organized by the Department of Homeland Security, the Rally allows the participants to present and compare their solution with different biometric solutions.

Fast and invisible technology

Most of the existing biometric solutions require direct interaction with biometric devices, regardless of whether it is a fingerprint sensor or a face camera. But new technologies provide a walk-through biometric solution that goes along with several self-service options which are well accepted by the market. With these new solutions, there is no need for passengers to stop in front of the e-gate or self bag drop kiosk and look directly into the lens while they wait for it to take a picture.

Instead, the camera systems are mounted in such a way that passengers are identified while they use the touchpoint, as if there is no biometric capture system at all. With the matching application it only takes a few milliseconds to capture and identify the traveller. High-end micro cameras with automatic adjustment combined with a biometric identification algorithm allow an easy and quick identification without any active passenger interaction. This way the processing time at all touchpoints can be decreased and the throughput within the existing infrastructure can be increased.

CBP Entry/Exit Programme

One of the many cases biometrics come to use is the US Customs and Border protection (CBP) Entry/Exit programme. With extremely high security standards, biometrics technologies make it a lot easier for airports and airlines to follow the country’s guidelines, as well as improve the passenger experience. Materna has been working actively with the CBP on their programme and will continue to progress biometric technologies further.


Michael Overkaemping is Product Manager for Access & Biometrics Solutions at Materna IPS. He is responsible for the business development and product management of biometrics integration.

Materna IPS offers passenger handling services at different touchpoints such as pre-security and self-boarding. Michael is a specialist in biometrics and has gained huge knowledge in this field through numerous projects. He works closely with technology partners on several industry trials in Europe and North America. Michael started his career at Materna 1999.

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