Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood inaugurates biometric boarding

Passengers with Spirit Airlines will be the first to use the new technology

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Amadeus have combined forces to pave the way for the biometric boarding of flights.

A touchless boarding experience is incorporated into the new design and uses facial recognition so that departing passengers can scan their face instead of their boarding pass.

Requirements set by the US Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) are also being followed to ensure travellers have biometrically validated that they have left the country.

The new technology can verify a passenger with the CBP and match a person to their booking.

Spirit Airlines is the first carrier to make us of the new touchless technology when passengers board for international flights. Once a customer has stepped in front of the new biopods, which were created by ICM Airport Technics, they are then verified to depart.

“Biometric technology will let us make the trip from curb to gate faster and easier, and it’s part of what we call the ‘Airport of the Future,’” said Mike Byrom, Spirit Vice President of Airport Services.

Travellers going through the airport can have an entirely contactless experience because the departure control system (DCS) allows for automatic boarding, meaning no physical interaction is made.

“Our mission is to deliver a safer and more streamlined passenger experience,” added Betros Wakim, President of Airport IT Americas, Amadeus. “We have therefore built an end-to-end and scalable biometric solution that is flexible enough to deploy any biometric hardware device from check-in kiosks to self-bag drop devices to biometric boarding gates.

“The solution is easily integrated with airline systems, allowing an airport to rapidly add biometric capability.”

The new biopods have been installed across 14 of the airline’s departure gates in terminal four.

Each device has a 3D camera, which is connected to the CBP traveller verification system (TVS). The image collected at the boarding gate is then matched against the picture of the passenger stored by the CBP.

Once verification is complete, the airline is alerted that the passenger is boarding the plane. The service is now available for all international airlines at FLL in order to create a contactless experience.