SITA slashes passenger processing time at Istanbul Airport

SITA has announced the results of its biometric-enabled Proof of Concept (PoC) designed to support a low-touch passenger experience and optimise passenger processing at Istanbul Airport (IGA).


Hani El-Assaad, President MEIA, SITA said: “This latest PoC harnesses existing SITA technology infrastructure including SITA  Smart Path and SITA Flex to further optimise passenger processing at a time when safety and efficiency are in sharp focus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”  Image:  SITA


The six-month trial showed a 30% reduction in boarding times and increased satisfaction of participating passengers and airlines, as well as reducing risks associated with COVID-19 thanks to the low-touch passenger journey.


The intuitive biometric solution allowed airline agents to easily enrol passengers on the existing SITA Flex common-use check-in counters. Once enrolled, passengers were able to simply scan their face at every step of the way, from security check, lounge access, and boarding, without having to touch any surfaces.


The PoC conducted with Turkish Airlines involved the use of sophisticated biometric technology across multiple touchpoints. These included a common use terminal (CUTE) for Smart Path enrolment, an iValidate gate verification point where passengers gain access to the gates, IGA lounge access verification, and boarding gate verification.



Safety and operational efficiency have become critical factors for airports and airlines to emerge from the pandemic according to the latest SITA IT Insights report. As passengers return to the skies, new health-focused processes such as PCR test verification present operational challenges to reduce congestion at airports.


Ersin Inankul chief digital & commercial officer, iGA said: “Despite the challenging economic environment we are confident that smart technology implementations are crucial to boost passenger confidence and increase the airport’s efficiency. Istanbul Airport is a technology-driven airport and we’re proud to be leading the way in terms of low touch smart systems that can help keep passengers safe while reducing operational burdens on the airport.”