Toulouse to trial smartphone boarding-pass technology

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Published: May 29, 2012

Courtesy, SITA

France’s Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS) will this summer be the first airport to trial SIM-based Near Field Communication (NFC), allowing passengers to pass through various control points and gates using only their mobile phones.

Using the security of the SIM card, 50 selected passengers will trial the new service on BlackBerry smartphones, as part of a joint undertaking between TLS, IT specialist SITA, Orange Business Services and BlackBerry.

The test passengers’ BlackBerry smartphones will feature NFC technology allowing radio frequency communication with other NFC-enabled devices by either tapping or positioning them within a range of a few centimeters. The phone will facilitate access to car parking, the boarding area via a premium access zone, and a premium passenger lounge. Passengers will also receive up-to-the-minute information such as changes to flight times, departure terminal or boarding gate.

SITA Lab director Renaud Irminger said the SIM-based NFC technology provides many benefits over current technology. “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,” he said, adding, “Overall, a passenger using an NFC-enabled device can be processed faster than any of the boarding processes available today.”

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