Ranked the world’s ninth-best air hub in 2020 by Skytrax, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol was already familiar with Iris Recognition technology that encourages hygiene measures—even before the coronavirus pandemic emerged.
By Sara Mosqueda Security Management
Privium, an exclusive traveler membership program at Schiphol, has three lounges at the international airport that allow its members to relax before a flight, rest between connecting legs of a journey, or get some work done—all with a range of food and beverage options and free Wi-Fi. Privium Plus members also receive perks outside of the lounges, such as priority parking at the airport, priority security access throughout Schiphol, and other benefits, according to Franc Vink, head of Schiphol Privium and VIP service.
Both Privium Plus and Basic members—roughly 60,000 users who are frequent travelers and Schiphol patrons—can use iris recognition scanners at passport control lanes for faster border clearance. This allows users to skip juggling with their luggage to pull out their passport or touching a fingerprint reader. “The main benefit is the fact that you can travel fast and without showing documents,” Vink says.
When someone signs up for membership, his or her iris is scanned and a record of the biometric data collected is automatically stored in a new central biometric database. At passport control lanes, after a member’s eyes are scanned, the information is compared to the scan logged in the database. And when the iris recognition scans match, the gates open to let the verified person through.
When Privium’s original iris scanners were installed approximately 20 years ago, they were “the most advanced biometric solution available regarding performance and reliability,” Vink says. And while Privium was more focused on the speed at which the readers would allow members to pass through the gates, the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic and the call for touchless solutions strengthened the value of this biometric solution.