Biometric exit launches at Dallas Forth Worth International Airport

A pilot program testing facial recognition to create a biometric record of people leaving the U.S. has been launched at two Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport gates operated by Japan Airlines and British Airways, GovTech reports.

Passengers were asked to have their pictures taken on tablet-sized monitors with cameras after a standard check of boarding passes and passports as part of Customs and Border Protection’s Biometric Exit program, with U.S. passport holders given the choice of opting out.

DFW plans to deploy the facial recognition to more than 75 gates in the coming months, after signing a 2-year contract to license biometric software for $630,000. In addition to improvement identified as necessary by the recent DHS Inspector General’s audit report, rapid expansions will be necessary if the program is to deploy fully to the top 20 airports in the U.S. by 2021.

The airport will also pilot the application of biometrics to more points in the passenger journey, from booking to hotel arrival, for a DFW to London flight in the new year.

“The experience itself will be much more seamless; the customer is now even more in charge of how they want to use it,” says DFW Senior Vice President of Customer Experience Julio Badin. “A simple example would be I don’t have to take out my passport, I don’t have to take my ticket. … It really simplifies the things that don’t have to be difficult.”

American Airlines, which recently began testing biometric technology for departures at LAX, is also considering ways to expand its use of facial recognition, according to the report.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport was designated an official Innovation Task Force site by the TSA earlier this year. The task force deploys pilot programs in public settings to test and refine groundbreaking technologies and processes.

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