New Smart Boarding Pass Checking System Reduces Queues at Sofia Airport

SOF Connect, the operator of Sofia Airport, presented the new automated boarding pass checking system at Terminal 2.

The new smart system includes the latest generation of IATA-compliant electronic gates and software for connecting to airport and airline systems.
The official launch of the electronic counters was attended by Anna Mihneva-Natova, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications and Jesús Caballero, CEO of SOF Connect.

“With the new automatic boarding pass checking system, Sofia Airport reaffirms its commitment to improving the passenger experience. Its use significantly reduces queues as passengers can check their boarding passes independently. Electronic gates allow for automatic exchange of information, which minimizes human intervention and increases the security level of the check-in process. We are delighted that Sofia Airport is the first Bulgarian airport to launch such e-gates,” said Jesús Caballero.

“A few days before Sofia Airport becomes an open door to the Schengen area, an automatic boarding pass checking system is introduced. This is very important in view of the approaching holidays and summer season, when the number of travelers increases. The fulfilment of the concessionaire’s commitments at Sofia Airport are periodically discussed at a joint committee at the Ministry of Transport and Communications. We followed with particular attention Sofia Airport’s preparations for our country’s accession to Schengen and for meeting the requirements. In parallel, we are assisting the concessionaire in the administrative procedures related to the modernization of the airport. And we expect the results to be visible and measurable in improved passenger comfort and expanded capacity of Sofia Airport,” said Anna Mihneva-Natova during the event.

The six smart gates allow for easy and fast passage of passengers, with one of them specially designed for people with reduced mobility. The capacity is 10-12 passengers per gate per minute. The e-gates provide a high standard of security and ease of use, and the combined scanners recognize both barcodes and QR codes. The software reads regular boarding passes, which can be electronic or on paper.

The manufacturer of the e-gates is a leader in the field – the Swedish technology company Gunnebo Group. The company is a supplier of electronic gates at Bristol Airport in the UK and Billund in Denmark, the Barcelona Metro, Microsoft’s office in Denmark, seaports, government buildings and more. More than 120 airports worldwide operate the German company Airsphere software that powers Sofia Airport’s new smart system.

Photos from the event can be downloaded from this link.