Thomas Edison said, “There is a way to do it better – find it”. This quest to do things better drives innovation across industries and sometimes unfolds paradigms that completely change our worldview. iTunes changed the music industry, Airbnb changed hospitality, and AmazonGo is changing retail. Something similar is brewing in aviation.
The DNA of tomorrow’s airports
For airports to run profitably while handling exploding passenger traffic with shrinking capacities and managing multiple stakeholders while delivering a seamless experience, they cannot bank on the current ways of doing business.
These are some of the questions aviation experts are asking with increasing urgency. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) & Airport Council International (ACI) New Experience in Travel and Technologies (NEXTT) initiative is a step toward conceptualizing and building the future airport that leverages technology to address these concerns. One of the building blocks of NEXTT is OneID.
In this POV, we explore the benefits of OneID for airports and the pressing need to secure it given passenger and regulatory concerns around data privacy and security.
What is OneID?
OneID is a document-free process based on identity management and biometric recognition similar to Social Security Number or Aadhaar. Under OneID, every passenger will have a unique, lifetime ID for air travel that enables a frictionless and paperless experience. This ID can be used across all channels of interaction in an airport, across multiple stakeholders from security check (government), to check-ins (airline), to immigration (government), to shopping (retailers) – both online and in person.
The OneID advantage
OneID can deliver three key benefits for airports – improve passenger experience, improve throughput, and increase non-aeronautical revenue.
Boost passenger experience
An IATA study found that queuing time of more than 10 minutes is unacceptable to passengers. Today, it can take anywhere between 45 minutes to 2 hours to get to your gate from the time you walk in to an airport. OneID can cut down the time taken at interaction points, reduce queues, and make the flow of passengers easier throughout the terminal.
Improve capacity utilization
The IATA predicts that there will be 8.2 billion flyers by 2037. With passenger traffic rising exponentially, airports are constantly struggling with capacity issues. OneID can help airports create extra capacity and increase passenger throughput with the same infrastructure by enabling data sharing to help make throughput-related decisions. For example, if you know how many people will drive to an airport and at what times, you can implement dynamic pricing for parking.
Optimize revenue streams
And finally, OneID’s masked, privacy protected data can prove invaluable in increasing airport revenues.
Data suggests that for every minute a customer is in a retail area and not stuck in a queue, their non-aeronautical spend increases by 2.5%. While OneID reduced queue time, it also allows retailers and other airport operators to securely access masked passenger preference data to customize offerings and increase revenues. It helps improve understanding of passenger profiles while protecting passenger privacy.
With obvious advantages, airports are definitely willing to adopt OneID. However, the road to adoption is not so easy.
System standardization and the data security conundrum
To enable a global OneID, there needs to be widespread adoption that depends on two factors – standardization and security. Unless all biometric systems and data sets are standardized and in sync, providing seamless identification across geographies will be a challenge. For the fragmented pilots now available, you may go through a great experience in one country to only land in another and having to produce your paper IDs again.
An even bigger challenge to OneID adoption is the security. The whole concept is centered on sharing and verifying passenger information securely. Increasing regulations around protection of personal data such as GDPR have also put tighter controls on handling of personal information. In light of recent data breaches, people themselves are jittery about sharing data. Unless a secure data sharing system is in place, passenger data will remain in siloes and OneID will remain a dream.
Securing the future of OneID
While Blockchain has potential applications in solving the challenge of secure transactions, we believe a more robust cybersecurity approach is needed to build trust in the system.
A comprehensive approach would be to mask passenger data and disclose it only where needed and allowed. For example, when the passenger is making a transaction, only the information vital for that particular transaction is made available. At no point in this journey will the passenger be asked to share their OneID number with any stakeholder. The validation will happen purely on biometrics.
At Wipro, we are working with industry players to create a trusted ecosystem. Our Identity Management Framework is designed on the principle of “decentralized AI” to enable a seamless passenger experience through the airport by setting trust networks among diverse stakeholders across Public and Private Domains. These trust networks are based on Zero Knowledge Proof and will only consume or share the required amount of passenger identity information needed to help process the transaction and ensure privacy in line with GDPR norms.
The identification, authentication, and access are based on a biometric solution. At every transaction, a code is generated to act as a link between OneID and the transaction triggered by the validation of a biometric system.
Assurance levels defined by the by ISO/IEC 29115 Standard describe the degree of confidence in the processes leading up to and including an authentication. This enables the stakeholders in the network to process the transactions at each handshake and provides assurance to the individuals for processing.
Ultimately, OneID is a trust framework that allows aviation stakeholders access to a dependable digital identity. Without a holistic security framework in place, the whole concept of sharing data across borders and to multiple stakeholders is fallible.
Managing Consultant – Digital Solutions
Sajal is part of the vertical that caters to Engineering & Construction sector, Airports and Smart Cities. His experience of 15 years ranges from consulting to solution sales of IoT & digital solutions. He is responsible to evangelize and build new age digital solutions, create an ecosystem to deliver them to business contributing towards improved customer experience, derive efficiency and agility in operations
Sajal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anu Pillai S
Digital Center of Excellence – Lead, Engineering, Construction and Operations, Wipro Limited
Anu Pillai leads the Digital Center of Excellence at Wipro’s Engineering, Construction and Operations vertical, that caters to engineering and construction, transportation infrastructure (airports, metros, ports) and smart cities. He has over 11 years of consulting experience to do with the evangelization and development of new age digital solutions. He has worked with leading EC&O organisations across the globe on businesses transformation engagements.
Anu can be reached at email@example.com