MIA launches facial recognition for Lufthansa passengers

5 February 2019 (Last Updated February 5th, 2019 12:13)

Miami International Airport (MIA), in collaboration with air transport IT provider SITA, Lufthansa and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), has introduced biometric exit technology to eliminate the need for a boarding pass and a passport.

MIA launches facial recognition for Lufthansa passengers
SITA launches facial recognition system for Lufthansa airline at Miami International Airport. Credit: SITA.

Miami International Airport (MIA) has collaborated with air transport IT provider SITA, Lufthansa and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to introduce biometric exit technology.

The new technology is known as SITA Smart Path and will allow passengers departing from MIA to Munich on Lufthansa flight 461 to board the flight with the quick click of a camera instead of a boarding pass and a passport.

The photo taken at Lufthansa’s boarding gate is used to confirm passengers’ identities and their authorisation to board the flight.

CBP claims that the entire facial recognition authentication process takes less than two seconds and has a 99% accuracy rate.

MIA plans to introduce biometric boarding with additional airlines this year.

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

“Biometric boarding is an efficient and hassle-free form of travel that helps speed up the boarding process while also increasing security.”

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

The launch of biometric exit at the airport comes after MIA’s February 2018 opening of America’s first all-biometric entry facility at Concourse E. The new facility scans all international passengers via facial recognition.

CBP Miami Port director Christopher Maston said: “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.

“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 Group product management ground and digital services senior director Dr Bjoern Becker said: “Biometric boarding is an efficient and hassle-free form of travel that helps speed up the boarding process while also increasing security.”

SITA and MIA have already partnered on various travel experience solutions, namely Mobile Passport Control and mobile app MIA Airport Official.