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Saint John Airport Adopting Blockchain Technology To Enhance Security

(Image: Saint John Airport)

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Airport will soon be using blockchain technology and biometric authentication to enhance airport security by preventing outsiders from impersonating employees.

The airport announced earlier this month that it will be partnering with Nodalblock, an Atlantic Canadian technology startup based in Halifax, for what it’s calling the Digital Identity project.

The Saint John Airport is the first airport in North America to publicly announce a Digital Identity project integrating blockchain and biometric authentication.

“Safety is our number one priority and this leading-edge technology will digitally enhance the airport’s security features,” said Saint John Airport president and CEO Derrick Stanford in a release.

Nodalblock’s Digital ID technology recognizes authorized personnel in full motion video. This will prevent outsiders from gaining access by ‘spoofing’ the camera by using a high-resolution photo of an employee. The system incorporates a private blockchain back end which stores encrypted evidence of each user’s identity. The system authenticates each user in real time based on a check of this evidence. The blockchain provides a tamper-proof environment to store both identity data and access logs.

Phase 1 of a pilot project is expected to begin Summer 2019. Once adopted, authorized airport employees will be allowed to enter secure areas of airport’s main terminal using Nodalblock’s Digital Identity authentication. This blockchain-based Digital ID with facial recognition authentication will run on the airport’s standard security cameras without the need for retinal scanners.

“Employees will simply be able to walk up to a secured door and have it unlock automatically,” said Nodalblock CEO, Daniel Faria. “This will enhance airport security by eliminating the possibility of unauthorized access with a stolen employee ID swipe card or key.”