Miami Airport Launches New Biometric Boarding Process

Miami International Airport (MIA) has launched biometric exit technology, so passengers can now board using facial recognition rather than a boarding pass and passport.
Through a partnership between MIA, Lufthansa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and global air transport IT provider SITA, a simple photograph taken at Lufthansa’s boarding gate is used to confirm passengers’ identities and their authorization to travel. The facial recognition verification process takes less than two seconds with a 99-percent matching rate, according to CBP. MIA expects to launch biometric boarding with additional airlines this year.

“Almost a million times each day, CBP officers welcome international travelers into the U.S., using a variety of techniques to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong,” said CBP Miami Port Director Christopher Maston. “Collaboration with our Miami-Dade County, Lufthansa and SITA partners has resulted in real momentum toward enhancing both traveler safety and convenience at MIA. This has helped make the path forward in the implementation of a biometric entry-exit system that will transform travel for all flyers.”

“Lufthansa prides itself as being an industry leader and trendsetter in digitalization and innovation, and biometric boarding is a large part of this category,” said Dr. Bjoern Becker, Lufthansa Group Senior Director Product Management Ground & Digital Services. “Biometric boarding is an efficient and hassle-free form of travel that helps speed up the boarding process while also increasing security. We are thrilled to be the launch airline that introduces this technological advancement at MIA.”

The launch of biometric exit at MIA follows the airport’s February 2018 opening of America’s first all-biometric entry facility at Concourse E, which screens all international arrivals via facial recognition. The facility, which has decreased processing times by as much as 80 percent for participating airlines, was chosen from among 80 nominations worldwide as the 2018 International Airport Review Award winner in the Passenger Experience and Seamless Travel category.