Following a 12-month pilot programme, Tampa International Airport (TPA) is implementing biometric screening technology at its departure gates.

The airport has already installed eight biometric scanners at international departure gates, and several more are scheduled to be delivered in the near future.

Biometric Boarding Tampa International Airport
After a year-long pilot, biometric screening is now ready for use at some of Tampa International Airport’s gates

This technology will improve efficiency during the boarding process. Indeed, TPA estimates that a plane carrying 130 passengers will be able to board in just 11 minutes using biometric technology, compared to the current average of approximately 30 to 40 minutes for a plane of this size.

TPA IT Analyst David Golden said:

By 2024, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has mandated that all US international flights use biometric scanners. The ones we’ve been implementing at TPA will replace, in many cases, the traditional boarding pass scanners.

We are joining the ranks of other major airports using this new technology to speed up and simplify the airport experience. The future is here. And the future is amazing.

The biometric scanners work by taking a photo as each passenger approaches the gate and comparing it to the one on file. The system then checks whether the passenger is booked onto the flight and will clear or reject them for boarding accordingly. This process takes just 5 seconds per passenger.

As soon as the automatic gates open for the passenger to board, they will immediately close before the next passenger is able to follow. This system can also be appropriately modified for passengers using a wheelchair.

Within the next 10 to 15 years, TPA plans to expand the rollout of biometric technology to allow passengers to check a bag, use the shuttles, pass through security and board a flight without needing to carry a boarding pass.

Elsewhere in Florida, Miami International Airport is also implementing biometric boarding technology at all of its 130-plus gates.


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