The Changing Face of Aviation

Biometrics in Airport Operations

By Michael K. Pilgrim and Shawn M. Whalen, PE, RCDD, PSP, LEED AP

The use of advanced technology is becoming more prevalent throughout airports, from ticketing to security checkpoints. Aviation security continues to be a priority, but in the face of rising capacities, innovators are developing more ways to identify passengers and simplify their movement through the passenger terminals. In the past five years, the push to modernize airport operations has included the use of biometric technologies throughout the airport community, domestically and internationally.

Biometrics, or the use of a person’s unique physical characteristics for identification, has become something of a buzzword in the technology and security fields. The application of biometric technologies is changing the way airports and airlines identify travelers. This new technology has the potential to improve passenger throughput capacities during the ticketing, bag drop, boarding and security processes.