A new contactless experience for passengers travelling.

From check-in and bag drop through to immigration, security and finally boarding

Thomas Bengs, CEO BBx ID Solutions

I´m Thomas Bengs, CEO from BBx ID Solutions. Recentley I read this great story from SITA Smart Path about Beijing Capital Airports using advanced biometric technology. An excellent example of smart services and contactless experiences to make the passengers  journey smarter.

SITA Smart Path has already proven that it can significantly speed up passenger processing at BCIA, processing over 400 passengers boarding an Airbus A380 in less than 20 minutes.


Major biometric deployment goes live at Beijing Capital Airport

August 2020


A new contactless experience for passengers travelling through Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) is now live – a project that SITA has described as its most extensive biometric deployment to date.

As the busiest airport in China and the second busiest in the world, BCIA has completely automated the entire passenger journey using SITA technology – from check-in and bag drop through to immigration, security, and finally boarding. Passengers only need to enrol once during check-in, then experience a seamless journey through the airport enabled by facial recognition. Improved processing efficiency means shorter queuing time and more social distancing for all passengers. An added benefit during the COVID-19 era is that the process removes the need to touch any airport equipment, reducing the risk of infection.

SITA Smart Path has already proven that it can significantly speed up passenger processing at BCIA, processing over 400 passengers boarding an Airbus A380 in less than 20 minutes. Beyond passenger processing, SITA Smart Path also enables hands-free and touchless Duty Free payment, removing the need to retrieve and show a boarding pass at check out, making Duty Free quick, contactless and convenient at a time when airports need increased revenue.

The SITA Smart Path solution is the largest rollout of its kind and enables passengers to glide through the airport using only their face as their boarding pass, eliminating the need for physical touchpoints and minimizing the risk of COVID-19 infection for passengers.

The deployment included the implementation of over 600 biometric checkpoints through the airport including 250 lanes of automatic gates, 80 kiosks, and 30 self-bag drop stations which will process passengers from international flights.

The biometric technology is currently activated across multiple checkpoints at BCIA including manual check-in, self-service check-in, bag drop, restricted access, security, and boarding. From an airport efficiency view, the solutions have improved capacity and created a low-touch (paperless) environment for all while allowing staff to focus on passengers who need help with their travel.

Sumesh Patel, SITA’s President of APAC said: “Automation is more important than ever in this COVID-19 environment to better enable social distancing and passenger flow without compromising processing times. The BCIA implementation is our most comprehensive deployment of next-generation technology and signposts growing interest from the market to automate and optimise airport operations through smart technology.

“With Duty Free shopping now also optimised by SITA Smart Path we’re beginning to uncover the full potential of biometrics to boost passenger safety, convenience and confidence, in turn helping the air transport industry to recover and evolve.”

SITA Smart Path helps enable a low-touch airport experience, improve security oversight, speed up passenger processing and reduce resources needed to manage the passenger journey. This enhances the passenger experience by providing them with more choice and control of their journey.

How it works:

  • Using biometric facial recognition technology, it scans and captures a passenger’s biometric details to verify their identity at the first touchpoint or alternatively on the traveler’s mobile
  • Once checked against the passenger’s travel documents, a secure digital travel ID is created
  • This ID can then be used at every touchpoint, whether that’s self bag drop, border control or aircraft boarding. There’s no need to show a passport or boarding pass.