Delta Air Lines has teamed up with the Transportation Security Administration to pilot a biometric curb-to-gate system at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.
The system will be based on facial recognition, with the technology being used to identify US domestic travelers. Those who elect to participate will be assigned a digital ID tied to their TSA PreCheck profile and their passport information, and will be identified by a face scan at airport touchpoints.
The facial recognition system will initially be used at the Edward H. McNamara Terminal’s TSA PreCheck touchpoint, with participants allowed to pass through via a face scan. But early next year, the biometric digital ID system will be expanded to the bag drop and boarding areas of the airport, meaning that enrolled travelers will theoretically be able to pass through the airport without ever needing to stop for identity screening.
Delta says it will not save or store travelers’ biometric data.
In announcing the plans, Delta Air Lines Chief Customer Experience Officer Bill Lentsch framed the system as one offering “a touchless experience” for travelers, which is especially important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; and he suggested that it will come to more airports in the future.
“We plan to expand curb-to-gate facial recognition and digital ID beyond the Detroit test so that all of our customers can enjoy a seamless, touchless travel experience across our network,” he said.
Delta is no stranger to biometric innovation in air travel. The airline undertook a similar collaboration with biometric screening specialist CLEAR last year, for example, when the two brought a biometric boarding system to Boston Logan International Airport. And it has already experimented with biometric boarding at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport through a collaboration with US Customs and Border Protection in 2018.
Delta’s new effort with the TSA comes after the airline published a primer on its biometric screening program for travelers this past summer.
Source: Airport Technology
November 20, 2020 – by Alex Perala