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July 26, 2022

Tampa Airport begins biometric screening at departure gates

Tampa International Airport said that the new technology can significantly improve the boarding process time.

Tampa International Airport (TPA) in the US has deployed biometric screening at some of its departure gates.

This follows a year-long pilot and is aimed at improving safety and efficiency during boarding.

At present, TPA implemented eight biometric scanners, mainly at international airline gates.

Going forward, the airport plans to install more such scanners.

The biometric scanner takes the photo of the passenger who walks up to the gate and then compares it with the passport photo on file with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

After validating the photo and details of the passenger, the automatic gates open for the passenger to pass through and immediately close before the next passenger can board.

Additionally, the scanner can be modified for passengers requiring a wheelchair.

The implementation of these scanners is said to improve the boarding process time.

According to TPA, the boarding process for a flight with nearly 130 passengers usually takes about 30 to 40 minutes.

This technology has the potential to complete this process in just 11 minutes, it stated.

TPA IT analyst David Golden said: “By 2024, 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.

“Multiple airlines are currently working with the airport to implement this new process, and our goal is to have four biometric scanners in use by the first week of August.”

In August 2020, the US Transportation Security Administration at Tampa International Airport began utilising new authentication technology to improve security screening.

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