Emirates has received approval for biometric
boarding from the U.S. Customs Border Protection (CBP).
The green light means that
customers flying from Dubai to any of Emirates’ 12 destinations in
the U.S. will soon 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.
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 says that
the results were
encouraging, with some flights achieving 100% biometric boarding
and zero manual checks.
Emirates expects to make biometric
boarding available for all its U.S. destinations by year-end, once
the equipment is in place.
Dr Abdulla Al Hashimi, Divisional Senior Vice
President, Emirates Group Security, said, “Safety and security will
always remain our number one priority, as Emirates continues to
explore and invest in innovative solutions for hassle-free travel
that help our customers fly better. Our ultimate aim is to help
our passengers travel paperless, without the need for passports
and IDs. Biometric boarding is one more step in streamlining
processes at our hub using digital technology, saving our
customers time and giving them peace of mind. We are talking with
authorities of several countries to make security using facial
recognition technology more acceptable and accessible.”
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 to offer customers a smooth and seamless
journey at Dubai International airport.