Palm vein authentication at airports

April 2019 Access Control & Identity Management, Transport (Industry)

Fujitsu announced that the Korea Airports Corporation (KAC) has deployed Fujitsu's palm vein authentication system at all 14 domestic airports under its jurisdiction, to ameliorate congestion by identifying boarding passengers with biometric authentication. After checking in, users who have registered their palm vein patterns in advance can confirm their identity instantly by just holding out a hand and ticket over the gate, and they will not have to show their citizen ID card, which was necessary to confirm the passenger's identity in the past.

This will automate the process of visual identity confirmation with national ID cards, previously conducted by airport staff, thereby improving the accuracy of passenger identification and significantly shortening the time required for the process. Going forward, users will not have to constantly carry their ID cards and the system will slash waiting times and enable smoother processing at airports.

This system began operation on December 28, 2018, and it has been used over 1 million times, with 160 000 individuals who have already registered their palm vein patterns.

The 14 domestic airports under KAC's jurisdiction are currently used by about 32 million people per year. Korean citizens, over the age of 14, travelling on domestic flights must have their identity checked before passing through boarding security, and this had previously been done on-site by showing a citizen ID card to security personnel. Because visually confirming a passenger's identity takes time, this process could lead to congestion in the airports, and it had become an issue for KAC.

Users can register in advance at registration devices installed in airports, linking their palm vein pattern with their citizen ID number, name, and phone number. Then, after scanning a barcode on their ticket, users can confirm their identity by holding out their hand at the newly-installed identity confirmation gates before security checkpoints.

The Fujitsu Group is in discussions with KAC regarding self-service check-in systems and self-boarding gates using palm vein authentication, in order to further improve airport services.




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