LAX simplifies international arrivals with facial recognition system

30 October 2020 (Last Updated October 30th, 2020 11:41)

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has unveiled a facial recognition system at Tom Bradley International Terminal to simplify the arrival of international passengers.

LAX simplifies international arrivals with facial recognition system
From left, CBP LAX director of field operations Carlos C Martel, LAWA CEO Justin Erbacci, CBP deputy executive assistant commissioner Diane Sabatino, and CBP LAX area port director LaFonda Sutton-Burke cutting a ribbon during the introduction of simplified arrival. Credit: City of LA.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has unveiled a facial recognition system at Tom Bradley International Terminal to simplify the arrival of international passengers.

Known as Simplified Arrival, the new touchless system will automate the document checks that are mandatory for entry into the US.

In addition to streamlining international arrivals, the system will help the airport fulfil congressional directive to record the biometrics of non-US citizens.

The new technology only uses the biometric facial comparison process where passengers are already required to authenticate their identity by presenting a travel document.

The newly unveiled biometric facial comparison process will compare the new photo of the passengers to images that they have previously submitted to the government such as passport and visa photos.

However, foreign passengers who have previously visited the US will no longer have to provide fingerprints. Their identity will be verified via the facial comparison system.

The system was implemented by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in partnership with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).

LAWA CEO Justin Erbacci said: “Los Angeles World Airports is an innovation leader, deploying new technology to enhance safety, streamline the passenger experience and create an increasingly digital curb-to-gate journey.

“Our partnership with US Customs and Border Protection has led to many passenger improvements, and the addition of Simplified Arrivals further solidifies LAX’s position as a premiere international port of entry.”

CBP’s deputy executive assistant commissioner for the Office of Field Operations Diane Sabatino said: “Simplified Arrival is a secure, efficient and intuitive process that delivers a seamless experience for travellers arriving into the United States. CBP is using an accurate, reliable technology to verify identity while protecting the privacy of all travellers.”

LAWA has allocated a budget of $1.9m in capital funds to renew the Federal Inspection Service area at Tom Bradley International Terminal for the new arrival process.

Sabatino added: “CBP’s facial comparison algorithm shows virtually no measurable differential performance in results based on demographic factors. We continue to partner with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to further enhance the Simplified Arrival process.”

Since September 2018, CBP has prevented nearly 300 imposters from illegally entering the US by using facial biometrics.