Facial Recognition Biometric Technology at US Airports – What to Expect

The US Customs and Border Protection has partnered with TSA to utilize photographs of international travelers as a measure to tighten security at airports. From check-in to departure, biometrics instead of the boarding pass or ID of the traveler will be used for an end-to-end process.

What to Expect with The New Biometric Procedures at US Airports

  • Travelers can expect improved air travel, smoother check-in procedures and enhanced security.
  • The airline supplies the CBP with the flight manifests that contains details of each traveler boarding the flight.
  • The CBP creates a database of photographs using travelers’ images from passports, visas, and other travel documents.
  • When travelers on outbound international flights reach the TSA ticket checking counter, the TSA officer reviews the traveler’s boarding pass and identity documents.
  • Once the officer is satisfied with the validity of all documents, he directs the traveler to a camera placed next to the counter.
  • After capturing the facial image, the traveler will proceed through the TSA security checkpoint and to their departure gate.
  • CBP uses these facial images for analytical purposes only.
  • In light of protecting the privacy of all travelers, CBP deletes these images within 14 days.
  • An integrated biometric entry/exit process will be executed once this process is implemented across all US airports.

As biometric screening systems are replacing boarding passes in US airports, travel is going to get seamless and paperless very soon.