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NEC and SITA Unlock Next-Generation Airport Tech at Passenger Terminal Expo 2022

By Jason Van Sice

As the easing of border restrictions unleashes global travel demand, passengers expect smooth, safe and secure journeys.

At Passenger Terminal Expo (PTE) 2022, NEC partnered with SITA to showcase seamless, touchless airport experiences through the integration of SITA Smart Path and SITA Flex powered by the NEC I:Delight identity management platform. We were pleased to join more than 6,500 colleagues on June 15-17, in Paris, France. With “Bonjour” greetings, we shared innovations and insights for the future development of the world’s airports.

Making Touchpoints Touchless™

NEC’s partnership with SITA launched just as airports and airlines increasingly look to low-touch and automated passenger processing to comply with health requirements following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 International Air Transport Association (IATA) new windowGlobal Passenger Survey revealed that a majority of passengers (73%) are willing to share their biometric data to improve airport processes. That is up from 46% in 2019.

new windowNEC I:Delight’s interoperable digital identity management together with SITA Smart Path and SITA Flex allows passengers to use their digital identity on their mobile phones whenever they travel.

“We’re unlocking the potential of seamless next-generation passenger processing solutions with SITA to make mobile-enabled and touchless airport processes a reality,” said Jason Van Sice, NEC Vice President of Aviation. “NEC I:Delight allows travelers to ‘register once, use often,’ providing a consent-driven, personalized customer experience.”

On the expo floor, NEC and SITA spotlighted recent success stories featuring Star Alliance and new windowMiami International Airport. The exhibit included demos of passengers using their biometric identity to check-in, make payments, and drop their bags, as well as pass-through security, immigration and boarding by simply scanning their faces at each step. 

“We know from SITA’s Passenger IT Insights research that passengers are enthusiastic about self-service mobile and touchless technologies. Our global partnership with NEC offers this. Together we’re able to deliver secure walk-through travel at airports globally, integrating SITA Smart Path to validate a passenger’s identity from check-in to boarding, and offer a seamless passenger journey to connected travelers” said Manuel Deloche, Vice President Passenger Processing at SITA.

The Future of Digital Travel

With innovative identification technologies and AI solutions—including the most accurate face recognition algorithm according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) —NEC I:Delight allows passengers who have opted to use the service to be identified quickly. Even when passengers are on the move and wearing masks, the platform offers a high degree of accuracy.

SITA Smart Path and SITA Flex solutions can integrate NEC’s biometric technologies with existing, common-use infrastructure and airline applications while delivering a frictionless airport journey.

We were energized by the connections made at PTE and look forward to the future of travel in the months ahead.

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(July 11, 2022)