Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and CBP unveil new biometric screening system
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, have unveiled a new biometric screening system known as veriScan that uses facial recognition technology to streamline passenger verification and boarding on outbound international flights.
veriScan was designed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s Office of Technology to meet a congressional mandate for CBP to implement biometric exit processes for commercial airline flights leaving the United States. The new system has been successfully tested by airlines serving Dulles airport since July 2018, including United Airlines, Air France-KLM and Scandinavian Airlines, and is currently under review by American Airlines.
According to the announcement, the veriScan system meets the requirements set forth by CBP for biometric exit procedures at airports and will be available at all international gates at both Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport for airline use by November 2018.
“CBP and our airport and airlines partners are redefining travel by using biometric technology to add convenience, efficiency and security to international arrivals and departures,” said CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “We have a great partner in the Airports Authority, whose forward-leaning approach to utilizing CBP’s verification system will enable international travelers at Dulles International Airport to experience a frictionless boarding process before the end of the year.”
Using proprietary software loaded on a portable tablet, veriScan encrypts and sends high-resolution photos of passengers boarding international flights to the CBP Traveler Verification Service for nearly instant identity verification. When integrated with airline boarding systems, veriScan will further streamline and expedite the boarding process by eliminating the need for boarding passes.
“We designed this technology to be deployed quickly and offer a portable, flexible and inexpensive solution to meet U.S. Customs biometric exit screening requirements,” explained Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter. “In addition to meeting the congressional mandate for identity verification, a future version of veriScan is under development with airlines to streamline the boarding process and enhance the passenger experience by offering one step for both biometric exit and passenger boarding, eliminating the need for boarding passes.”
The entire veriScan screening process takes less than two seconds. The veriScan system uses battery-powered, Wi-Fi / cellular connected tablets that are portable and interchangeable among gates. It is easy to install and only requires a 30-minute training session before it can be used by airline gate agents, and costs one-tenth that of other commercially available solutions.
This is part of the DHS’ second phase of testing for the Traveler Verification Service (TVS) used in the biometric entry/exit system.