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Perspectives

Airports in Korea Go Touchless with Innovative Biometric Solution

  • 26 Nov 2020

COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of the airport industry, with touchless technology and automation playing a key role in the transformation to minimize human contacts. 

 

Korea Airports Corporation (KAC), which manages 14 airports in Korea, recently rolled out a smart airport master plan pledging its efforts to implement more innovative technologies across all passenger check points, ensuring seamless passenger journey. The most notable in this innovation journey is the application of its palm vein identification system.  

 

In 2019, Korea Airports Corporation (KAC) deployed a palm vein identification system at all of the 14 KAC airports, including Gimpo International Airport and Jeju Airport. Under this system, passengers can identify themselves through the unique vein patterns of their palm scanned through the device.  

 

Like an iris or fingerprint, vein patters on the palm have been used as a way to verify identification due to the uniqueness of the patterns. But unlike fingerprints, verification is achieved without any physical contact between an individual’s hand and the device using infrared ray sensors. And surreptitious copying of vein patterns is far more difficult.  

 

The user rate of the service jumped dramatically with the spread of COVID-19. The user rate for the service was only 7% last year, but the figure more than doubled reaching 16%, from January to September this year.  

Unlike fingerprints, verification is achieved without any physical contact between an individual’s hand and the device using infrared ray sensors. 

Yeongyu Jung

Manager, Smart Airport implementation, Korea Airports Corporation

KAC plans to expand this biometric authentication system to all passenger process for other facilities inside the airport such as currency exchanges, food and beverage stations and duty-free stores.  

 

KAC recently signed a memorandum of understanding with JDC, the duty free operator of Jeju airport to adopt biometric authentication payment system. With its implementation, which is expected to be around the end of the 2021, passengers will be able to make payments simply by scanning their palms.  

 

KAC plans to take advantage of other cutting-edge technologies including articificial intelligence and Internet of Things to increase the efficiency of airport operations and provide high quality passenger service.  

CATEGORY
COUNTRY / AREA
Korea
AUTHOR
Yeongyu JungKorea Airports Corporation
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