Berlin Brandenburg Airport introduces BER Biometrics – “another building block towards a smart airport of the future”


Berlin Brandenburg Airport is offering passengers an additional digital service: BER Biometrics means all travellers can now use various stations when departing from Terminal 1 via facial recognition.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport is offering passengers an additional digital service: BER Biometrics means all travellers can now use various stations when departing from Terminal 1 via facial recognition and, therefore, contactless without showing their boarding pass. This includes printing baggage labels at selected self-service machines, use of the BER Runway with an extended time slot and access to the BER Tegel lounge after prior booking. This follows a two-week test phase with a selected group of people.

“BER Biometrics is a free service for interested passengers and is entirely voluntary,” said Thomas Hoff Andersson, Managing Director Operations, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH. “The digital service enables them to plan and organise their stay at the airport more effectively. Thanks to contactless access to various process locations, users can reach their departure gate more conveniently and quickly. For the airport company, BER Biometrics is another building block towards a smart airport of the future.”

Registration via the SmartDepart app from a partner company and a selfie are required to use BER Biometrics. The service can be booked from seven days before departure. A live image of the passenger is then taken onsite in the terminal at explicitly and clearly designated stations. The SmartDepart app is used to match the files from the app against the files from the images taken in the terminal and the corresponding service is activated.

Interested passengers can use BER Biometrics at two signposted self-service kiosks on the departures level, at the entrance to a control lane for the BER Runway and at a column in front of the Tegel lounge. The app provider shall delete the matching data after the flight. The stored passenger data remains in the app, which the user can manage independently at any time.

BER Biometrics is a voluntary and free service for passengers aged 16 and over. It replaces presentation of the boarding pass, but not the carrying of official travel documents, including the boarding pass. As before, all services at BER Airport can still be used without BER Biometrics. To realise the technical aspects of the project, including software solutions, the airport company worked with its partner company, AirSphere, and is already using its boarding pass control software at BER.

“AirSphere and Berlin Brandenburg Airport have been working together successfully for many years in the automation of passenger handling processes,” said Frank Pfleiderer, Managing Director, AirSphere GmbH. “We are delighted to have BER as the first customer for our new SmartDepart app and offer passengers at BER a new travel experience. We shall continue to expand the range of services in the app and will soon be offering corresponding services via the app at other airports.”

Hear more from Berlin Brandenburg Airport at FTE Global – the “CES of Aviation” – taking place in Los Angeles on 28-30 October 2024. Thomas Hoff Andersson, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer, Berlin Brandenburg Airport, is participating in a session focused on ‘Next generation leadership strategies for tomorrow’s airports’.

Register for FTE Global 2024 >>

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