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Tampa International Airport to implement biometrics to replace passport and boarding pass


Tampa International Airport (TPA) has announced the implementation of biometric facial recognition to replace passport screening, and eventually to replace boarding passes.

The technology will be trialed at three international gates at TPA’s Airside F terminal this summer to support the federal mandate for Biometric Exit, and eventually be installed at ten gates in total by 2020; seven at Airside F, two at Airside E, and one at Airside C.

“This will enhance customer experience by speeding up the boarding process,” says TPA Director of Guest Services Daniel Glennon. “Essentially, it’s an iPad on a stand that serves as a camera as you’re getting in line. Within a matter of seconds, it can determine your identification.”

Beyond passport and boarding checks, TPA will also test electronic gates with automated boarding pass scans for access to the airport shuttle.

“We’re moving in the direction of a one-stop process,” explains TPA Senior IT Manager Doug Wycoff, who is leading the biometric initiative. Wycoff says the new technology will speed up passenger journeys, improve security, and provide the airport with more accurate passenger metrics.

The implementation of the facial recognition system used at Orlando International Airport (MCO) to process passengers at 30 international departure gates and CBP checkpoints cost the Greater Orlando Airport Authority $4 million.

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