PHL Installs Facial Biometric Boarding Technology

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is installing facial biometric technology at 25 boarding gates in Terminals A-East and A-West to facilitate US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in safely and efficiently processing departing passengers.

Facial biometrics verifies a traveller’s identity by comparing a live photo to images provided to the government, such as passport and visa photos.

PHL Biometric technology
Using SITA’s Smart Path solution powered by the NEC I:Delight digital identity management platform, passengers in A-East and A-West step up to a camera at the boarding gate to verify their identity

To enable this process, PHL is installing the necessary equipment to collect facial biometrics of travellers exiting the US. This technology uses a facial biometric matching service built by CBP for use by airlines, airports and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

PHL Chief Operating Officer Keith Brune said:

“The safety and security of our passengers and airport employees are our top priority and require a collaborative effort by the City of Philadelphia Department of Aviation, the US Department of Homeland Security, and our airline partners.

“We are excited to move forward with the installation of biometric technology at PHL. This system will make the screening process more efficient for everyone and is especially important as international travel continues to grow post-pandemic.”

The biometric technology at PHL will use SITA’s Smart Path solution to allow passengers in A-East and A-West to verify their identity without needing to present a passport or boarding pass.

This system captures the passenger’s picture as they enter the biometric touchpoint and sends the image to CBP to be matched with existing images.

The launch will occur in three phases. The technology is now operational at the first 10 gates  and the second set will be installed mid-January through February, followed by the remaining five gates in late March to mid-April.

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