Hands-on access


With 24 million passengers and 338,000 flights annually to over 300 international destinations in addition to domestic flights, Mexico City’s airport is the biggest in Latin America and one of the most heavily trafficked in the world. It is also one of a number of airports that is using fingerprint identification.

“Fingerprint matching is very secure and convenient,” explains José Luis Ordoñez, sales manager for Mexico and Central America at ASSA ABLOY’s HID Global. “It only takes a few seconds to pass through a checkpoint. A smart card enhances the check, ensuring that the cardholder is the same person who is providing fingerprints. At the same time, the card also shows an image, text and color code indicating what the person’s role is and if that person is authorized to be in the area.”

By migrating an existing card system to V-Smart iClass, with a higher frequency (13.56 MHz) that can hold much more information, such as fingerprints, the card and scanner can “talk to each other” at a greater distance and without generating traffic to a central server. This reduces data flow and therefore vulnerability. It is also a big advantage considering that one of the authority’s requirements was that the system could not have more than 24 minutes of interrupted service during an entire year.

Examples of areas where the system is in full use are customs, luggage handling, flight and ground crew areas, and boarding gates.