DIA eyeing biometrics to improve traveler experience amid pandemic

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DENVER (KDVR) — As early as this summer, travelers may have the option to avoid some crowds and lines at Denver International Airport (DIA). It is part of the airport’s effort to help make trips to the airport safer for everyone amid the pandemic.

DIA launched a partnership with the software technology company Daon, which specializes in biometrics. The company uses an individual’s unique features like voice, fingerprints and face to prove one’s identity and confirm transactions.

DIA hopes to use this technology in several ways throughout the airport, from buying food to the moment before one boards a plane. The goal, according to the airport, is to make a traveler’s time at the airport touch-less and more efficient. The tech would replace credit cards and boarding passes.

Another idea they are considering is a reservation system for the train inside DIA.

“I show up to the airport and I’m seamlessly identified. Then as I get to the train, my identity is confirmed then I am allowed one of those few spots on the train during the period of time they are allowing for,” explained DIA Chief Operating Officer Chris McLaughlin.

McLaughlin says by planning and using a reservation system, the older population and those with medical risk factors have an option to get through the airport when fewer people are around.

Airport security is also an area DIA and Daon hope to make faster and contactless. They acknowledge that would take support and permission from the Transportation Security Administration

According to DIA, the airport along with Daon are in the planning phases but hope to role out a pilot program as early as this summer. Daon executives are expected to arrive in Denver on Thursday to continue their work.  

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