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EVA Air joins Biometric Exit, launches facial recognition service at San Francisco Airport

Contactless solution developed for travelling during pandemic
EVA Air joins Biometric Exit, launches facial recognition service at San Francisco Airport

Taiwanese airline EVA Air has launched a facial recognition boarding service at San Francisco Airport, joining U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Biometric Exit program, Business Traveller reports.

By using the new system, passengers will be able to have their face biometric information registered within the CBP database and the airline’s check-in system, though the service is not available to infants and those requiring special assistance.

Upon arrival at the airport, their faces will be scanned by an AI-powered system, which will then allow them access to the boarding gate without needing a boarding pass.

EVA Air clarified the system will not be mandatory, and infants or passengers who require special assistance will be able to utilize traditional boarding procedures.

According to the airline company, the new facial recognition system will reduce physical contact at the airport, thus increasing health and safety for passengers and personnel during the pandemic.

At the same time, the automated system will also reduce errors related to passenger boarding, as well as curtailing the number of workers needed to man the airport gates.

EVA Air has also extended its remote self check-in time to 70 minutes prior to departure to encourage passengers to use the feature.

Moving forward, EVA Air said it intends to keep developing the facial recognition system to perform tasks like seat allocation, self check-in, baggage check, as well as customs clearance and VIP guests services, according to TechNews, and to bring the technology to other airports worldwide. The company plans to deploy biometric boarding at Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle airports.

The airliner is supported in this goal by the Star Alliance, the world’s largest global airline alliance, which EVA Air joined in June 2013.

The Alliance recently partnered with NEC to build biometric identification systems at Frankfurt and Munich airports, which also provide touchless customs clearance.

The new platform for biometric identification is already being used by Lufthansa and Swiss, allowing their frequent flyer program customers to benefit from using biometrics to pass through security checks and boarding gates with touchless processes.

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