Delta announces first airport terminal in U.S. with curb to gate biometric coverage

Delta Air Lines is launching the first terminal-wide deployment of biometrics in the U.S. in partnership with Customs and Border Protection, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), and the Transportation Security Administration.

Facial recognition technology will be deployed throughout the Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal (Terminal F) to provide customers flying directly to international destinations with a seamless curb to gate travel experience. Customers will have the option to use facial recognition to check in at self-service kiosks, drop off checked baggage, serve as identification at a TSA checkpoint, board their flight at any gate in the terminal, and for international travelers arriving in the U.S., to be processed by CBP.

Travelers passing through Terminal F for flights on Aeromexico, Air France-KLM or Virgin Atlantic Airways can also use the technology. The four airlines serve 1.9 million departing passengers in the terminal each year.

“Launching the first biometric terminal in the U.S. at the world’s busiest airport means we’re bringing the future of flying to customers traveling around the globe,” said Gil West, Delta’s COO. “Customers have an expectation that experiences along their journey are easy and happen seamlessly — that’s what we’re aiming for by launching this technology across airport touch points.”

NEC is providing software and technology for the Atlanta deployment.

Delta has participated in several trials of facial recognition for flight boarding, as well as a biometric bag-drop test, and has launched biometric check-in for its domestic Delta Sky Clubs, with Delta Biometrics Powered by CLEAR.

“The expansion of biometrics and facial recognition throughout the airport environment represents the next generation of security identification technology,” said David Pekoske, TSA Administrator. “TSA is committed to working with great partners like Delta, ATL and CBP on developing and deploying new capabilities like these.”

The deployment is expected to be available late this year.

Acuity Market Intelligence recently predicted the global market for automated biometric systems in airports will generate $1.3 billion in revenue over the next five years.

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