FIRST ON-BOARD FOR BIO­MET­RIC BOARD­ING

Time taken for iden­tity checks will be re­duced to two sec­onds

Aviation Business - - CONTENTS -

EMI­RATES BE­COMES THE FIRST AIR­LINE OUT­SIDE AMER­ICA TO RE­CEIVE AP­PROVAL FOR BIO­MET­RIC BOARD­ING

Emi­rates has be­come the first air­line out­side Amer­ica to re­ceive ap­proval for bio­met­ric board­ing from the U.S. Cus­toms Bor­der Pro­tec­tion (CBP). Soon, cus­tomers fly­ing from Dubai to any of Emi­rates’ 12 des­ti­na­tions in the U.S. will be able to choose fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy at the de­par­ture gates, re­duc­ing the time taken for iden­tity checks to two sec­onds or less.

No pre-reg­is­tra­tion is re­quired, and cus­tomers may also choose not to use the tech­nol­ogy. Emi­rates does not store any bio­met­ric records of its cus­tomers – all the data is man­aged se­curely by CBP.

The tech­nol­ogy was pi­loted at the de­par­ture gates of Emi­rates’ flights from Dubai to New York and Los An­ge­les through the peak pe­ri­ods in July and Au­gust. The re­sults were en­cour­ag­ing with some flights achiev­ing 100% bio­met­ric board­ing and zero man­ual checks. The air­line ex­pects to make bio­met­ric board­ing avail­able for all its U.S. des­ti­na­tions by year-end, once the equip­ment is in place.

How bio­met­ric board­ing works: at the board­ing gate, the sys­tem clicks the pas­sen­ger’s photo, which is matched against CBP’s gallery in real-time to ver­ify the per­son’s iden­tity in two sec­onds or less. The sys­tem may not work for those who haven’t trav­elled to the U.S. for a long time or whose im­ages are not in CBP’s gallery, in which case they can sim­ply ap­proach the gate desks.

Dr Ab­dulla Al Hashimi, di­vi­sional se­nior vice pres­i­dent, Emi­rates Group Se­cu­rity said: “Our ul­ti­mate aim is to help our pas­sen­gers travel pa­per­less, with­out the need for pass­ports and IDs. Bio­met­ric board­ing is one more step in stream­lin­ing pro­cesses at our hub us­ing dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy, sav­ing our cus­tomers time and giv­ing them peace of mind. We are talk­ing with au­thor­i­ties of sev­eral coun­tries to make se­cu­rity us­ing fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy more ac­cept­able and ac­ces­si­ble.”

John Wag­ner, deputy ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant com­mis­sion, Of­fice of Field Op­er­a­tions, U.S. Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion said: “CBP has been work­ing with our stake­hold­ers like Emi­rates to build a sim­pli­fied, but se­cure travel process that aligns with CBP’s and the travel in­dus­try’s mod­erni­sa­tion ef­forts... We have stream­lined iden­tity ver­i­fi­ca­tion that fur­ther se­cures and en­hances the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Bio­met­ric board­ing re­duces the time taken for iden­tity checks to two sec­onds or less

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