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French airport to trial phone-based check in

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 24, 2012

A French airport is launching a trial run of a mobile phone check-in system using SIM card based Near Field Communication technology.

The trial, involving 50 passengers at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, will use Blackberry smartphones equipped with NFC radios that allow short-range communication with other NFC-enabled devices.

The phone will effectively become the passengers’ boarding pass allowing them access to car parking, the boarding area and a premium passenger lounge. Passengers will receive updates such as changes to their flight times, departure hall or boarding gate.

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The trial is a joint effort between air transport IT company SITA, the airport, Blackberry and cellular provider Orange.

SITA Lab director Renaud Irminger said NFC-based technology provided many benefits over other check-in methods.

“It is extremely secure; will work when the device is powered off; does not require the passenger to launch an app or retrieve an SMS or an email; and is not affected by reading problems caused by dirty screens,” Irminger said “Overall, a passenger using an NFC-enabled device can be processed faster than any of the boarding processes available today.”

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