Lufthansa Airlines has launched a biometric self-boarding gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 1.
This comes almost 11 months after JetBlue debuted a similar service at JFK’s Terminal 5 following an extensive pilot project at Logan International Airport in Boston. During that trial, over 50,000 passengers used biometric scanners to board select international flights with no pre-registration and no passport required.
The paperless boarding process is provided by Vision-Box, and uses facial recognition technology to verify a traveler’s identity by capturing their image using a camera when they approach the self-boarding gate. The image is then sent to US Customs’ Traveler Verification Service where it is compared and matched with the image of the passenger on file from either their immigration papers or their passport.
“Within seconds the system reconciles the passenger identity and his eligibility to enter the flight. The positive match of both verifications triggers to open the eGate doors and the passenger can board the airplane,” said Vision-Box CEO and founder Miguel Leitmann.
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency has been experimenting with biometric security screening programs at JFK and other airports across the United States as far back as 2016. Initially the program was only used to assess passengers using the Visa Waiver program for the first time, and returning US citizens who already had e-passports.
“It’s become crucial for airports and airlines to adopt biometric capabilities along the processes which require interaction with the traveler,” said Leitmann, “therefore enhancing and scaling operational capacity for growing quicker within their existing footprint.”
Earlier this year, the increased security provided by biometric technology played a key role in identifying a woman travelling from Mexico City through JFK with false documentation.
In the last twelve months other major US airports have also launched biometric scanning programs that aim to increase security and eliminate the need for a passport and boarding-pass. Air France, Japan Airlines and Norwegian Airlines are also expected to join Lufthansa in offering the same service at JFK’s Terminal 1 in the future.
Source: New York Post
October 9, 2019 – by Tony Bitzionis