NEC Corporation and SITA today announced a global partnership to develop market-leading solutions that enable a secure walk-through travel experience at airports by leveraging NEC’s I:Delight identity management platform together with SITA Smart Path and SITA Flex.

The partnership comes as airports and airlines increasingly look to low-touch and automated passenger processing in order to comply with new hygiene requirements following the global COVID-19 pandemic, in line with recommendations from Airports Council International and IATA.

Through the partnership SITA and NEC plan to further unlock the potential of seamless next-generation passenger processing solutions, making mobile enabled and touchless airport processes a reality.

This will allow passengers to use their digital identity on their mobile phone whenever they travel at each step in the journey. Passengers will use their biometric identity to check-in, make payments, drop their bag, as well as pass through security, immigration and boarding by simply scanning their face at each step. Key touchpoints will automatically recognise you as a passenger, making steps such as bag drop and boarding effortless.

The two companies are collaborating  to develop this ground-breaking solution by utilising both companies’ global presence in the market and the combination of technology for Common Use Platforms and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions.

With cutting-edge identification technologies and AI solutions including the most accurate face recognition algorithm (*), NEC’s I:Delight platform (**) allows passengers who have opted to use the service to be identified quickly and with a high-degree of accuracy, even when passengers are on the move. SITA Smart Path and SITA Flex solutions are able to integrate mobile and NEC’s biometric technologies with existing common-use infrastructure and airline applications while delivering a smoother airport journey.

Masakazu Yamashina, Executive Vice President, NEC, said, “We are (NEC) pleased to collaborate with SITA to provide ‘NEC I:Delight,’ making use of our  cutting-edge digital identity solutions to capitalise on biometrics technologies to deliver a unified customer experience across a wide range of services.”

Raffie Beroukhim, Chief Experience Officer, NEC Corporation of America, and head of NEC Global Aviation Center of Excellence said: “We look forward to this partnership with SITA and the opportunity to develop and implement the most advanced platforms at airports throughout the world, thereby contributing to the digitization of the airline industry and making travel safer and more enjoyable.”

This technology could not have been more welcomed as country borders begin to open up and airports have instigated strict social distancing measures. Convenience in air travel is an important factor to keep things moving smoothly.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA echoed these sentiments and added, “In NEC we have found another strong partner where together we are able to deliver to our airline and airport customers a more seamless, automated journey through the airport. We know that passengers value the benefit of a truly self-service experience. Leveraging SITA’s common-use footprint in more than 460 airports globally and NEC’s award-winning identity management technology, we are well placed to help our customers deliver a truly unique and efficient experience in the airport, particularly during these challenging times where there is increased focus on the health and safety of passengers.”