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Orlando IA first US airport to add facial recognition to automated passport control


Orlando International Airport is the first US airport to add facial recognition to its automated passport control (APC) kiosks. The kiosks were upgraded by air transport IT solutions provider SITA, which announced the addition Thursday, and plans to upgrade kiosks at other airports.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) updated the requirements for APC kiosks located at borders to require facial recognition capabilities in June. The upgraded kiosks compare the traveller’s face with the biometric information in their e-passport.

While many airline passengers welcome additional security measures, presumably few would be satisfied to spend more time waiting in lineups for their sake. Paul Houghton, SITA president of Americas said the kiosks have reduced lines by up to 40 percent.

“Now, there is added security as the CBP requires facial biometrics to be matched to the e-passport being presented,” Houghton said. “Almost 500 million e-passports have been issued globally; these hold facial biometrics while some also contain fingerprints. Our SITA APC kiosks comply with all the latest requirements and help bolster more efficient security checks at the airports.”

SITA has installed over 300 kiosks in 10 airports, and has hundreds more on order. The company touts its kioks as “future-proofed” for their capacity to meet the new CBP requirement, and says its technologies’ seamless operation takes no additional time for passengers to use.

The company will showcase its APC kiosks with facial biometric capture at the upcoming ACI-NA annual conference.

As previously reported, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is among the airports to have installed SITA APC kiosks this year, which it did in April, as Miami International Airport was ordering 44 of its own.

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