Everyday, millions of people experience increasingly complex and intrusive security checks before they board for their flight.
Tapping into passengers’ sense of irritation, French company Safran used the Paris air-show to display their latest automated check-in system.
Vice-President at Morpho-Safran, Christine Riveau, explained the reasoning for developing this new model: “It’s not only a simple track but also a way to democratise air travel. Today, you could not imagine taking the subway in Paris and having someone punch your metro ticket by hand. While it is still important someone accompany passengers, we have to also automate the system and give passengers control of this process.”
The process itself is a simple one: a boarding card scans the fingerprints of the passenger, which quickly pass through a portal capable of detecting any dangerous objects. There is no need to remove any liquids, as the system can recognize them for what they are. A biometric passport control is automated with recognition of the eyes or face and only when a passenger is carrying something suspicious – like a knife, or explosives – is there any kind of intervention from an inspector. To conclude the experience, the passenger’s personal information is deleted from the system.
Whilst this technology helps simplify our lives, other products on show at Le Bourget are all about trying to save them. In light of climate change and the need to reduce pollution and aircraft fuel consumption, Safran are developing inbuilt electric motors to go in the main wheels of the landing gear. Powered by the aircraft’s auxiliary turbine, these motors mean the airliner in question does not use its reactor for ground movements, thereby potentially saving enormous quantities of energy.
As Olivier Savin, Executive Vice President of the Green Taxiing System JV, explained: “With an hour and a half flight, conducted 7-8 times per day, just during the taxi alone your plane will burn more than a 1.2 tons of fuel. The solution proposed by Safran and Honeywell it is to electrically motorize the wheels of aircraft without using the main engines. In the coming years, airports will be increasingly congested, and we need to find a way to optimise the flow of aircraft. Ours is a good solution.”
This system should be operational by 2016.