Orlando International Airport the first to launch Biometric Entry & Exit Program

Orlando International Airport will be the first U.S. airport to fully deploy the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Biometric Entry and Exit Program. The passenger processing system will use facial recognition technology to facilitate the arrival and departure of all international travelers.

Over the past several months, Orlando International Airport has been testing the system for passengers boarding British Airways (BA) flights to the United Kingdom. The system accelerated passenger processing with the BA flights boarding in less than 15 minutes, while eliminating the need for passengers to handle boarding passes and passports at the time of boarding. Testing on the system for arriving passengers proved equally efficient at reducing processing delays.

The system will be implemented at the 30 airport gates having international departures and at checkpoints located in the airport’s two Federal Inspection Stations.

How the Exit process works:

– Prior to boarding, CBP generates biometric templates of the historical images (including passport and visa photos) of travelers for a given flight and temporarily stores them in the Virtual Private Cloud.

– Each traveler approaches the departure gate during boarding to stand for a photo, which is captured by a camera, operated by airlines/airport authorities.

– The matching service verifies the traveler’s identity by comparing the best photo taken prior to boarding to the historical images in the CBP database. Once verified, the passenger can board.

How the Entry process works:

– CBP uses airline manifest data to retrieve existing traveler photographs from government databases, including passports and visas, to build a photo gallery of travelers who are expected to arrive in the United States.

– At the inspection booth, CBP captures a photograph of the traveler and matches it to a photograph in the pre-assembled gallery.

– After the matching service verifies the traveler’s identity, the CBP Officer conducts an inspection to establish the purpose and intent of travel and thus either directs the traveler to baggage claim or refers the traveler to secondary for further inspection.

The use of facial biometric matching to expedite the international travel process is expected to transform travel to and from the United States by greatly reducing the need for passengers to continually present identity documentation at multiple stops along the passenger journey.

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