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NEWS Last modified on February 4, 2019

Facial recognition boarding comes to Miami International Airport

Lufthansa passengers flying out of Miami International Airport are now able to board their flight with the quick click of a camera instead of a boarding pass and passport, thanks to the airport’s launch of biometric exit technology.

“MIA continues to explore innovative ways of streamlining and expediting the travel experience for visitors to our community,” enthuses Miami-Dade County Mayor, Carlos Gimenez.

“I look forward to seeing biometric exit technology expand throughout MIA and enhance the level of customer service for its passengers.”

Through a partnership between MIA, Lufthansa, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and global air transport 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% matching rate, according to CBP. MIA expects to launch biometric boarding with additional airlines later this year.

MIA busy

“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,” comments 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.”

“Lufthansa prides itself as being an industry leader and trendsetter in digitalisation and innovation, and biometric boarding is a large part of this category,” notes Dr Bjoern Becker, Lufthansa Group's senior director for product management ground and digital services.

“Biometric boarding is an efficient and hassle-free form of travel that helps speed up the boarding process while also increasing security. We are thrilled to be the launch airline that introduces this technological advancement at MIA.”

The launch of biometric exit at MIA follows the airport’s February 2018 opening of America’s first all-biometric entry facility at Concourse E, which screens all international arrivals via facial recognition.

Plane sky

“We are proud to partner with CBP and SITA to provide this cutting-edge technology for Lufthansa passengers at MIA,” enthuses Lester Sola, MIA director and CEO.

“Biometrics is one of the many approaches we are taking to modernize our airport infrastructure, to make the travel experience as seamless as possible.”

SITA and MIA have already partnered on a number of innovative travel experience solutions, including Mobile Passport Control and MIA Airport Official, the airport’s mobile app.

“This is another great success at MIA where we have teamed up to improve the passenger experience through innovation,” said Diana Einterz, SITA president, Americas.

“We have worked closely with the US CBP, airlines and airports to design a seamless biometric exit solution that meets the needs of all parties. SITA Smart Path is based on industry-standard common-use gates so it can be used by any other airline at MIA.”

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