Facial verification technology is one of the most advanced modern technological advancements for the security industry. Intended for airport security, the technology is built over years of research and experimentation. Because airport security is such a critical matter, facial verification technology for airports is constantly evolving and being regulated.
Airport security is important for the people traveling as well as for national security purposes. Considering the sensitivity that airports require, TSA (Transportation Security Agency) recently rolled out a pilot program initiating facial verification technology at airports.
Facial Verification Systems – TSA’s Pilot Program
In the end of 2020, TSA launched its first pilot program for facial verification technology at airports. The goal of the program was to test if facial recognition services were a suitable and practical application for airports. After that, depending on the results, TSA was to make a decision about the technology and its implementation.
The Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport was the first one to implement the pilot program in August 2020, and 16 airports were later included in the pilot program.
According to the Washington Post, these 16 airports included:
- Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (TX)
- Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (MS)
- Boston Logan International Airport (MA)
- Denver International Airport (CO)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (GA)
- Los Angeles International Airport (CA)
- Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (MD)
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (VA)
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (MI)
- Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (MS)
- Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas (NV)
- Orlando International Airport (FL)
- Miami International Airport (FL)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (AZ)
- San Jose International Airport (CA)
- Salt Lake City International Airport (UT) [H2] TSA Moving Forward with Face Scanning
After running the pilot program for a while and understanding each and every aspect of facial verification technology at airports, the Transportation Security Agency recently decided on moving a little further with facial verification for airport entrances.
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Just last week, TSA announced that it was going to put into action facial biometric airport security at Bay Area airports. What’s more is that all three of the Bay Area’s airports are going to start utilizing maximum benefit from facial verification technology.
Newest Addition to the Family
On March 2nd, 2023, the Sacramento International Airport deployed facial verification technology at select entry points. The news was announced by Cindy Nichol who is the Director of the Sacramento County Department of Airports. Cindy said that the technology was important for saving time and would act as a major stress reliever for our travelers.
The Sacramento County Department of Airports believes that facial verification technology will provide a secure, touchless departure process for identity verification.
Amadeus and Sacramento International Airport – Facial Verification Technology for the Win
Sacramento International Airport is using Amadeus IT group for their KYC face verification processes. Moreover, of all the global companies manufacturing travel technology products, Amadeus ranks among the first ten and is actively working and trying to integrate facial verification technology at airports.
As per a statement by Betros Wakim who is the SVP Airport & Airline Operations Americas, biometric technology is going to be one of the top trends in 2023 when it comes to airport processes. “At Amadeus, we are working with a growing number of airports and airlines to build biometric identity technology into different stages of the airport experience, from check-in to bag drop and also boarding”, Wakim said.
From implementation at entry points to trying to get facial verification systems running at each and every step of the airport security process, Amadeus is working hard with facial verification technology.
Understanding The Working Process Of The New Facial Recognition System
The new airport face verification works using a simple process.
Airports have set up kiosks with machines for face verification. When at a kiosk for verification, the passenger is asked to insert their passport into the machine. Next, the camera affixed takes a picture of the passenger. These two things are all that a facial verification system needs.
The system starts processing for verification after receiving both documents. In the first step, it validates the authenticity of the ID card and then assesses the picture on the ID. Next, the photo on the ID is compared with the picture submitted through the camera.
Facial verification technology uses advanced techniques to authenticate the card and match the pictures. After utilizing its complex systems for processing, the system finally displays the answer.
Facial verification technology systems have amazing accuracy and are fairly dependable. However, for now, airports are still having their agents review every passenger manually as well.
To sum up – What This Means For Facial Recognition Software Companies Focusing On Travel
Travel is one of the top two industries with the most scope when it comes to biometric verification. Moreover, the industry itself is also huge with an expected worth of $13.4 billion by the year 2027.
Within the industry, Amadeus is one of the key players and is working in collaboration with Lufthansa at the Los Angeles International Airport.
Collectively, airports increasing their use of facial verification technology and the bidding key players are all only going to boost competition and innovation furthering an improved technology. Thus, what we get is an increased value for the industry. Additionally, this also holds the potential to unlock a level of airport security that has never been seen before.
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