Finnair, Finavia Test Facial Recognition Technology at Helsinki Airport

Finnair and Finavia, together with Futurice, are testing the use of facial recognition technology for the check-in process of Finnair flights at Helsinki Airport. During the test period taking place between May 2 and May 23, the companies will gather information on the applicability of facial recognition technology to the airport environment and the systems and processes used by the airline. Finnair has invited a group of 1,000 frequent flyers to take part in the test. 

Finnair customers taking part in the test will use a test application to log their face portraits into the system. When checking into their flights, customers will use a designated check-in desk where the facial recognition technology will be installed. A customer service agent will then check the customer's travel information and indicate in the test system if the facial recognition was successful. The system used in the test is provided by Futurice and built using widely available hard- and software; and cloud-based services.

According to a written release, Heikki Koski, vice president of Helsinki Airport for Fianvia, says "facial recognition is part of the larger megatrend of biometric recognition, and it will enable “hands in the pockets” travelling, where you no longer need any travel documents. When all travel-related information is digitized, it takes less time and is easier to get through the checkpoints at the airport. Last year, we tested facial recognition technology at the employee security control and the results were very encouraging.”

Finnair flies between Asia, Europe and North America with an emphasis on connections via Helsinki, carrying more than ten million passengers annually.