DALLAS – Counting the number of passengers on board an aircraft before departure is an everyday process carried out manually by ground staff or cabin crew. The Swiss flag carrier SWISS (LX) wants to change this with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cameras.
According to an official statement by the airline, ‘the new approach should both enhance security and ease the workload of its cabin personnel.’
The tests will run over three months, from April until June, on selected flights from the carrier’s hub at Zurich Airport (ZRH).
During boarding, cameras that film passengers will be installed in the cabin by an external partner. The recording is then forwarded to the AI to allow it to be trained. However, the AI must also reliably detect if, for example, a passenger is carrying a child or issues in low light conditions. The trial results will be regularly analyzed to improve the AI’s reliability.
Flight Attendants will continue to carry out head counts during this period.
Data protection is taken very seriously in the matter, says Swiss, “All the recordings made will be processed in full compliance with the strict European (GDPR) and Swiss (FADP) data protection provisions and will then be deleted.
“The data recorded will be used solely for passenger count purposes. No persons will be identified from them. In addition, only visual images will be recorded, and only in the aircraft door area. No further recordings (such as audio) will be performed.”
Passengers will also be informed about the test recordings before boarding. After the three-month test phase and development, SWISS will decide whether to introduce the new technology.
Featured Image: SWISS Airbus A320neo Photo: Hendrik Bittorf/Airways.