Facial recognition tech helps speed processing for travelers in Washington airport

Facial Recognition Technology at Airport - Dulles Airport

New facial recognition system has been unveiled at Dulles International Airport

Air travelers may face less wait-time frustration at Washington’s Dulles International Airport thanks to a new processing system that uses facial recognition technology.

The system can help reduce lines and speed up wait times without compromising security.

The two new face recognition systems at Dulles are said to be a “user friendly” way to help relieve congestion for air travellers. One of the systems meets legal requirements for biometric entry-exit records and the other helps to accelerate the processing of travelers arriving on international flights, by matching their real-time images with stored photos, reported Phys.org.

There has been a lot of debate regarding the security associated with facial recognition technology and whether or not this type of tech is safe and not too intrusive in terms of surveillance and privacy. However, according to officials, the airport facial recognition system will benefit air travellers without compromising security.

In fact, the system is reportedly designed to increase security by making certain travelers are using their real passports and not forged documents. The system matches faces to existing photos from passports or images that have been collected from foreign nationals when they enter the country.

Facial recognition technology may one day eliminate the need for boarding passes.

“It’s fast, it’s user-friendly, it’s flexible and it’s cost-effective. And we believe it will change the face of international travel,” Kevin McAleenan, US Customs and Boarder Protection Commissioner, told reporters at the unveiling of the face recognition system at the airport.

Officials have also said that this system may eventually eliminate the need for travellers to require a boarding pass, because their face will be all they need.

“No more fumbling with your boarding pass when you have two carry-ons, maybe a kid, no more trying to find a QR code or trying the refresh your screen,” McAleenan stated.

At Dulles International Airport, the new system operates with iPads mounted on a pole. The system identifies and matches the image of travelers during the boarding process.

Facial Recognition Technology at Airport - Dulles AirportDuring one test of the facial recognition technology system, the boarding of 350 passengers for an Airbus A380 aircraft was completed in 20 minutes, which is half the normal time it typically takes to board this number of passengers for this plane.

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