The transition period is taking place in two phases:
- by the end of 2008 all airlines should be able to provide printing of two-dimensional (2D) bar codes on the boarding passes, completely discarding the magnetic strip on the back of the boarding pass;
- by the end of 2010 the technical equipment should be adjusted so as to enable the airports to process the tickets of this kind.
„2D tickets are equally convenient for the passengers, the airlines and the airports. In order to avoid the check-in queues, the passengers can use the check-in service on the Internet provided by many airlines, and to print out their boarding passes at home. Several airlines offer their passengers a check-in service by mobile phone which also involves the use of 2D codes. The airlines thus can achieve a 100% economy of the boarding pass materials, a 40% economy of printing facilities and lower passenger check-in costs. The airports can save the space allocated for check-in counters, speed up the services of security screening and at boarding gates, and generally, the bar code readers and related equipment are cheaper both in terms of purchase price and maintenance,” said Raimonds Arājs, Director of the IT Department of RIGA International Airport.
In order to provide full service of 2D tickets, the airports must meet three conditions: the ability to print such tickets, to read the code on the ticket at the security checkpoint and at the boarding counter. Currently at RIGA International Airport the 2D bar code readers manufactured by the company IER are in use at the boarding counters and special thermal printers are installed at the check-in counters for printing of good-quality boarding passes. In cooperation with SIA „Timesaving ID&IT solutions” a special software is being developed for 2D code scanners to work at the security checkpoints.