[KRC] In recent years, with the continuous advancement of biometric technology, some international airports have begun to use various convenient and reliable biometric technologies to enhance airport security during transit inspections, and at the same time bring convenience and quick customs clearance experience for some passengers. In January this year, Hong Kong International Airport jointly launched a set of "SPEED" passenger flow simplification schemes including fingerprint identification for United Nations Thai Airways and Hong Kong Immigration Office . The Qatar Airport in the Middle East also began to equip the airport with the e-gate system using biometrics in August this year , and it is also the fourth international airport to apply the system. From the current situation, biometrics technology is being favored by more and more international large airports, and it is popular in the world. Biometrics can be divided into many categories, including fingerprint recognition, iris recognition, and voice recognition. Among them, iris recognition has become a very popular new technology in the field of biometrics with its high degree of safety and non-invasiveness, and it is very usable for the airport. This new technology is currently used at some of the largest airports in the United States, Heathrow in the United Kingdom, and Schiphol in the Netherlands. Here, we will introduce in detail the application of this technology at the airport and the points that should be noted if the technology is implemented at domestic airports.

The use of iris recognition technology at the airport transit is very convenient for passengers. The passenger to be inspected only needs to aim the eye on the iris scanner for a short stay to collect iris information (in the process, the passenger is not wearing the sunglasses except the sunglasses). The effect of the lens, and the eye is at the distance from the lens 25 cm Within the range can be effectively tested). After that, the information will be automatically imported into the computer system, and the iris code will be generated by a special algorithm. Then, in the iris database with a large amount of user information, the search for matching the code will be started quickly. After the retrieval is completed, the identity of the user is confirmed. The whole process is extremely short.

For the airport, iris technology also has a number of advantages, the first part of the table below is the embodiment of this. In addition, in the second part of the table, we also list some places where the iris recognition technology is still not mature:


1.          The sample is reliable:

a)   Uniqueness: The iris is located between the sclera and the pupil of the eye and contains the most abundant texture information in the human eye. It is one of the special structures in the human body. The formation of the iris is determined by genetics, and the expression of the human body determines the shape, physiology, color and overall appearance of the iris.

b)   Stability: When the person is about two years old, the iris is basically developed to a sufficient size and enters a relatively stable period. The iris morphology can remain unchanged for decades, unless rare abnormalities, physical or mental trauma can cause changes in the appearance of the iris.

c ) Anti-counterfeiting: If you want to artificially change the appearance of the iris, you need very fine surgery, and you run the risk of visual impairment.

2.          Accurate recognition: the error rate of iris recognition is the lowest among current biometric identification schemes

3.          Fast detection: The iris recognition service during airport security inspection takes only about 1 second per person , which is much lower than fingerprint monitoring ( 5 seconds) and traditional manual detection.


Ø   High cost: the core components required for iris recognition are expensive

Ø   Large size: it is still difficult to reduce the size of image acquisition equipment

Ø   Reliability: Identifying the lens may cause image distortion resulting in reduced reliability

As can be seen from the above table, the iris recognition technology has extremely high safety performance, but the current equipment cost may be relatively high. Therefore, the field in which the airport uses the technology and the service objects it faces are generally concentrated in two aspects: one is for the airport restricted area with high security requirements, and the service target is the airport or the airline needs to enter and leave certain restricted areas. personnel. New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport installed an iris recognition system at its fourth boarding gate on international flights , and 300 of all 1,300 employees have begun using the system for login control. By using this system, all personnel who can enter the apron must be personnel certified by the system safety. If an unauthorized person wants to force it, the system will automatically take an emergency response to enclose the person trying to force it in the alert space. After using the system, the security level increased from John F. Kennedy International Airport B to A grade.

On the other hand, iris technology is used in the overall scheme to shorten the security inspection process, and more specifically, in the passport verification process when passengers enter and leave the country. Most of its clients are frequent flyers frequented by airlines or airports. This is because the cost of early equipment is high, so some airports provide passengers with iris recognition services that are charged, and they are charged in the annual fee. Therefore, some passengers who rarely leave the country rarely use the service. The main service target of the airport is frequent flyers who often enter and exit. Later, some airports have gradually emerged, and the iris recognition service has been promoted free of charge for airport security, but frequent flyers are still their main target. The following are the specific ways in which two representative airports provide iris recognition services to passengers:

Schiphol Airport

Heathrow Airport


Schiphol Airport's iris recognition technology began in 2001 and serves the frequent flyers of the airport's airlines and is an important part of its frequent passenger service plan privium . The cost of using the entire privium service per person is $ 125 per year, and more than 30,000 people have registered information.

From January 2002 began, Heathrow and the UK Immigration Service, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, British Airport Authority and EyeTicket (equipment providers, providing equipment JetStreamTM) introduces iris technology cooperation in the process of checking passports The service, which was commissioned for a total of six months, was targeted at 2,000 frequent flyers from British Airways and Atlantic Virgin .

Channel used

Establish a dedicated channel for iris passport testing

Establish a dedicated channel for iris passport testing

For passengers

Outbound passenger

Inbound passenger

Way of use

Passengers only need to insert the privium card with their own data into the instrument, and then scan the eye. The scan result will be compared with the information stored in the card to complete the identity confirmation. After the scan is completed, the refreshed record will be directly stored in the chip, and the information in the instrument will be erased immediately, effectively protecting the privacy of the passenger.

Before the first use, passengers need to receive detailed registration and data entry at the entry and exit agency. The information will be stored in the database of the UK immigration authorities. During the use of iris monitoring equipment, the iris information will be directly in the backstage database. The information is compared and then processed by the processing system to determine whether to release.

time consuming

1 to 2 minutes

12 seconds


The implementation has been well received by frequent travelers.

No identification failure case during trial operation

       After understanding the characteristics of the above iris recognition, specific application areas and methods of use, we will find that iris recognition technology can be found at domestic airports, both in important security areas of airports and in transit inspections for passengers. Land, especially some large hub airports with relatively large international passenger traffic, can greatly enhance the safety factor of the airport, and at the same time, it can also save some passengers from waiting time and improve their satisfaction with the airport, which may increase the airport's business income. . However, in the operation mode, we cannot completely copy the existing models in foreign countries. The “imported goods” need to be improved to be suitable for the actual situation of domestic airports. Next, we will propose three suggestions to help the successful improvement of the iris recognition service at the domestic airport.

Service object:

Part of the passengers with frequent entry and exit. Because of this service, for the first time, it is necessary to go through a complicated process in the border inspection department to collect personal iris samples and make personal data. In addition, in the future, the data needs long-term storage and maintenance, and for passengers with few entry and exit. On the one hand, the initial process is more complicated, on the other hand, the cost is not cost-effective, so they are not likely to be used. Frequent entry and exit passengers are suitable target customers, and these passengers can be excavated through the airline's frequent flyer program.

Promotion mode:

International immigration inspections are strict and time-consuming, so passengers are happy to use iris recognition services to save time, but the current domestic border inspection process is generally within 45 seconds, so from the time savings, the iris There are not many advantages in identifying services. There may be some difficulties in promoting to passengers. We suggest that airports can be promoted by means of both entry and exit:

a)          During the exit process, the procedures and inspection process will be relatively complicated and cumbersome, and the time advantage of the iris recognition service in the whole process is not obvious. It is recommended that the Capital Airport will provide iris inspection and security inspection to form a complete set of fast services, which will be packaged and sold to passengers. It is recommended to use independent channels in the process involved in the whole service, so that passengers who accept the whole service will not be affected by other passengers, reflecting the convenience of the service in speed, ensuring the rights and interests of the passengers using the service, and greatly enhancing The appeal of the entire service.

b)         The airport can implement a free iris recognition service during the border inspection process for passengers entering the country. This is because the entry process generally only needs to check the simple documents, which takes a short time. Although the iris recognition service can only save 30 seconds, it can make passengers feel a very obvious time advantage. In conjunction with the promotion in a free manner, the acceptance of passengers should be relatively high.

Passenger usage mode:

There are two types of data comparison and processing methods: one is to compare the scanned information with the data stored in the background central database, and to update the database directly after completion, such as Heathrow Airport (for secure networks) Environment); one is to compare the information after scanning with the data in the portable smart card and store it only in the smart card afterwards, such as Schiphol Airport (for areas with strong privacy protection requirements), we recommend that the domestic airports adopt the former method. Because the information is stored centrally in the back-end database of the airport, there are four benefits:

c)          From a security point of view, it will be more advantageous, because the airport only needs to maintain the information security of its own database, it can eliminate the hidden dangers of the entire service, and the smart card is carried by the passengers themselves, and the card information airport has no right to back up. It is also impossible to supervise at any time, and there may be cases where information has been tampered with;

d)         Domestic people do not overemphasize data privacy protection, so there is no need to store data in smart cards just like Schiphol Airport. Of course, airports must pay great attention to database security and must not disclose them.

e)          In addition, the need for a smart card also makes it easier for passengers to travel, and avoids the cost of making a card;

f)          Using a back-end database at the same time can help the airport build its own passenger database, which is good for studying passenger behavior at the airport.

In recent years, China's economy has continued to maintain a high-speed development trend, and exchanges with the world have become increasingly close. A large number of domestic tourists frequently go abroad, and a large number of international travelers are constantly flocking to China. But at the same time, frequent exchanges will also bring increasing security pressure to domestic airports. Therefore, it is recommended that domestic airports pay attention to biometric technologies represented by iris recognition systems, and qualified airports can be introduced in time.

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(Singapore Kai Rui Management Consulting Company Civil Aviation Research Center, /* */ )