SITA Smart Path

SITA worked with JetBlue in 2017 to implement the world’s first solution to integrate with US Customs & Border Protection’s traveler verification service (TVS) for US biometric exit. The solution was first deployed at Boston Logan International Airport, followed byJohn F. Kennedy and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood international airports. Image via SITA

Airlines and airports are increasingly introducing biometrics for better efficiency and security, from check-in to boarding. Building on this momentum, APEX is bringing facial recognition technology to APEX TECH, January 29–30, in Los Angeles.


APEX TECH attendees will have the unique opportunity to experience facial recognition technology at a kiosk powered by the SITA Smart Path solution.

“It’s the industry’s most comprehensive solution for whole-journey identity management where your face is your boarding pass,” said SITA senior manager of Projects and Innovation Sherry Stein, who will be giving a keynote address on the first day of the event.

Smart Path has been used by more than one million travelers at airports around the world, including in Boston, New York (JFK), Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Doha, Brisbane, Oman and Athens. SITA’s Global Passenger IT Trends Survey found that 92% of travelers would consider the use of biometrics for travel.

“There are so many cool technologies in the aviation space and we wanted to showcase one of them,” APEX TECH manager Nicole Blackshear, said.

Typically, biometric technology compares face scans to photos in government databases, but for the purposes of the demonstration, participants will scan their passport or other government issued ID to upload their photo. Participants can then proceed through the dedicated conference room doors where there will be a kiosk with biometric verification. (All personal information will be deleted following the event.)

RELATED: JetBlue Seeks to Make Travel Less Stressful With Biometrics

“We’ve seen airlines and airports quickly respond to the customer demand, with more than 70% planning to implement single-token travel solutions within the next three years,” Stein said. “In our airport implementations, more than 90% of travelers choose to opt in since the solution is so easy to use and eliminates the need to show boarding pass or passport.” According to Stein, the scan typically takes no more than five seconds, reducing boarding times by up to 30%.

“APEX TECH brings industry executives together for discussion and presentations of thought-leading solutions that help form their future strategies,” Stein said. “SITA is honored for the opportunity to enable attendees to get a first-hand experience of SITA Smart Path and the benefits that seamless travel solutions can offer to improve customer experience, enhance security and optimize capacity.”

This article was updated on January 17