Ireland’s Shannon Airport has become the first in Europe to enable biometric pre-screening for travelers headed to the US.
As with the US Customs and Border Protection agency’s escalating border screening program at American airports, Shannon Airport’s system is based on facial recognition. Participating travelers’ faces are scanned and matched against their travel documents, verifying their identities.
In an announcement of the development, Shannon Airport Managing Director Andrew Murphy suggested that it’s the product of a long-running collaborative partnership with the CBP. “We are delighted that US Customs and Border Protection has selected Shannon for this pilot,” he said. “We’ve had an excellent working relationship with them since Shannon, in 2009, became the first airport outside the Americas to have US preclearance.”
Airport also authorities stressed the efficiencies that the system offers, noting that it just saw its busiest summer in 17 years.
The implementation likely represents the start of a broader expansion of transatlantic traveler screening. While the CBP’s aim is to deploy biometric border control across all US points of entry, the global travel sector has increasingly been looking to biometric technology to enhance operations; Shannon represents a key point of contact between those forces, and further cooperation between European air travel authorities and the CBP is likely in store.
September 28, 2018 – by Alex Perala