Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) in the US has implemented facial biometric technology across its 25 boarding gates in Terminals A-East and A-West.

This is to support the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) process for international departures.

The facial biometric technology has been designed to validate passengers’ identities by comparing their live photo with the images submitted by the passengers to the government. These include passport and visa photos.

PHL COO 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 facial biometric technology utilises SITA’s Smart Path solution, which is powered by the NEC I:Delight digital identity management platform.

Travellers at PHL’s A-East and A-West step up to a camera at the boarding gate to verify their identity, and once verified, the passenger will be able to board the aircraft without having to present a passport or boarding pass.

PHL chief information officer Allen Mehta said: “PHL spent a significant amount of time to find the best solution for the airport.

“Our goal was to find a viable solution that not only met the basic requirements from The Department of Homeland Security but also to have partners with experience in airports and biometrics solutions around the world.

“SITA and NEC were selected because of their vast experience, satisfaction, and reliability in the industry. Since SITA has already provided other systems in PHL’s International Terminal for many years, this integration will make the environment seamless.”

Passengers who do not plan to take part in the facial biometric boarding process will have to notify a CBP Officer or an airline or airport representative.