Emirates, Dubai Airport Prepare Curb-to-Gate Biometric Program

The Emirates airline is preparing a groundbreaking biometric passenger screening program designed to passively identify travelers as they move throughout the Dubai International Airport.

The system is based on a combination of facial recognition and iris scanning, and is designed to use the biometric technology to enable passengers to check in for their flights, access the Emirates Lounge, and even to board their planes.

A “Smart Tunnel” has been implemented to process passport control without any need for travelers to stop; they are cleared for security as they simply walk through the tunnel. Emirates says the Smart Tunnel has been trialed in collaboration with Dubai’s General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs since last October, and that when testing is complete its biometric processing technology will be further expanded throughout the airport, with all biometric data to be collected by the GDRFA.

In a statement announcing the biometric passenger processing program, Emirates VP and Chief Operations Officer Adel Al Redha explained, “After extensive research and evaluation of numerous technologies and new approaches to enhance our passenger journey, we are now satisfied with the preliminary work we have carried out and are ready to commence live trials of the world’s first biometric path at Emirates Terminal 3.”

The effort is part of a larger trend toward biometric automation in air travel and border control, with similar efforts also being undertaken in the US, largely through collaborations between airlines, airports, and the Customs and Border Protection agency.

October 29, 2018 – by Alex Perala