Rio-São Paulo is the world’s first biometric airlift; know how it works

Check-in by facial recognition arrived at the airports of Congonhas, in São Paulo, and Santos Dumont, in Rio de Janeiro. With this, the busiest airlift in Brazil also becomes the first with 100% biometric boarding in the world.

Biometric reading totems were installed at 20 boarding gates, adding up to the two terminals, 12 in São Paulo and eight in Rio de Janeiro. The novelty will allow travel between the two airports and domestic flights to other Brazilian cities to be possible without any physical document.

“There’s nothing like using our own faces as a document”, says the commercial director of Pacer, the company responsible for the technology. “In addition to being practical, we save time, paper and transform the experience of traveling into a more pleasant and uneventful moment”, he adds.

Definitive deployment happens now

Facial recognition for check-in at airports is in the final implementation phase, which will take place gradually and simultaneously at both airports. After carrying out operational tests, the equipment will become operational and will be made available for use by airlines.

For companies to be able to make use of the new technology, companies must have formalized their adhesion to the initiative with Serpro. This formalization consists of signing a confidentiality agreement and an acceptance regarding the rules of the General Data Protection Law (LGPD).

Before implementation, several tests were carried out in a pilot project, Embarque +Seguro, conducted by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Serpro, which is the technology company of the Federal Government. During testing, the average time to boarding dropped from 7.5 seconds to 5.4 seconds per passenger.

Shipments almost 30% faster

“This means that, with biometrics, it will be possible to process more shipments in the same time as the current processing, corresponding to a gain of 27%”, says Pacer. However, it is important to note that the system is not mandatory and the passenger can choose to carry out the traditional check-in and boarding procedures.

Each airline operating the Congonhas/Santos Dumont route will be able to adopt its own procedures for biometric registration and validation of passengers in the Serpro database. At this first moment, users will need a valid biometric document, the airline ticket and access to the airline’s registration and biometric validation channel.

What will the recognition process look like?

Through the channel, the user will be able to carry out the biometric validation associated with the flight, which can be done at the time of check-in or after its completion. Before each flight, the user will need to accept the terms of the GDPR. After performing this action, the passenger will be able to use the biometric check-in system.

At airports, facial recognition will be used in two stages: accessing the departure lounge and, later, entering the aircraft. In the departure lounge, the totems will perform a biometric reading of the passengers’ faces and consult the Serpro base, in addition to verifying a valid boarding pass.

After approval, the passenger can enter the place. At the time of boarding, a similar process will take place, which will release the ticket on the aircraft. In addition to passengers, the system will also be made available to flight crew, through the Embarque +Seguro Tripulantes app.

Service will also be made available to crew members.

Crew members must log in to the Gov.br platform, check documents and professional data, take a selfie and photo of their qualification as a participant in the crew’s initiative. However, the biometric procedure does not exclude the need for airport security inspections.

For the new system to be definitively adopted, a technical partnership was needed between Infraero, operator of the two terminals, and Serpro, which developed the biometric validation system for Embarque +Seguro. The equipment and interface, including biometric reading totems and automatic turnstiles, are in charge of the IT companies Pacer and Digicon, respectively.

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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