Dhaka: Emirates becomes the first airline outside America to receive approval for biometric boarding from the US Customs Border Protection (CBP).
Soon, customers flying from Dubai to any of Emirates’ 12 destinations in the US 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.
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. We are talking with authorities of several countries to make security using facial recognition technology more acceptable and accessible.”
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 airline expects to make biometric boarding available for all its US 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 US for a long time or whose images are not in CBP’s gallery, in which case they can simply approach the gate desks.
Emirates currently flies to 12 US cities – New York, Newark, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. In October last year, Emirates launched the world’s first biometric path at Dubai International airport.