Miami Introduces Facial Recognition Departures

(Photo: Miami International Airport)

Passengers departing from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Munich on Lufthansa flight 461 can now board with the quick click of a camera instead of a boarding pass and passport, thanks to the airport’s launch of biometric exit technology last week.

Through a partnership between MIA, Lufthansa, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and IT provider SITA, a simple photograph taken at Lufthansa’s boarding gate is used to confirm passengers’ identities and their authorisation to travel. The facial recognition verification process takes less than two seconds with a 99-percent matching rate, according to CBP.

“Almost a million times each day, CBP officers welcome international travellers into the US, using a variety of techniques to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong,” said CBP Miami Port Director Christopher Maston. “Collaboration with our Miami-Dade County, Lufthansa and SITA partners has resulted in real momentum toward enhancing both traveller safety and convenience at MIA. This has helped make the path forward in the implementation of a biometric entry-exit system that will transform travel for all flyers.”

MIA said it expects to launch biometric boarding with additional airlines this year.