US Customs and Border Protection has deployed facial recognition biometric technology at one Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint in John F. Kennedy International Airport.
For the technical demonstration, CBP teamed up with TSA to make use of travellers’ photographs taken at TSA’s Terminal 7 international checkpoint to compare against travel document photographs.
Office of Field Operations deputy executive assistant commissioner John Wagner said: “As we continue to deploy technical demonstrations, CBP is assessing the use of biometric technology as part of a future end-to-end process, from check-in to departure, in which travellers use biometrics instead of their boarding pass or ID throughout the security and boarding process.
“Expanding these demonstrations to the TSA process is the next step in CBP’s goal of transforming and improving air travel, making it smoother, seamless and more efficient for travellers, while also enhancing the security of the process.”
Just as in CBP’s present biometric exit technical demonstrations, it will make use of the flight manifests to develop a photo gallery of travellers boarding international flights using their images from passports, visas, and other travel documents.
When passengers on outbound overseas flights arrive at the TSA ticket document checking podium, the TSA officer will analyse the traveller’s boarding pass and identity documents as per the TSA’s standard operating procedures and will then direct the traveller to a camera placed adjacent to the checking podium.
Following the facial image capture, the traveller will be able to go ahead through the TSA security checkpoint and to their departure gate.
CBP will make use of facial images for review purposes only and all images will be deleted within 14 days.
CBP has implemented biometric technology at a single gate within eight US international airports as part of the agency’s implementation of a biometric exit system.
In addition to meeting the congressional mandate for a biometric exit system, CBP will implement an integrated biometric entry / exit process that offers huge benefits to air travel partners.