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New facial biometric technology deployed at Sacramento boarding gates


Sacramento International Airport has become the latest gateway to deploy facial biometric technology at select boarding gates.

The US airport has installed state-of-the-art technology from Amadeus that it says will “revolutionise the process of verifying traveller identities by comparing live photos to the traveller’s existing passport or visa photo in secure US Department of Homeland Security systems”.

As a result, Amadeus says that the safety and security of passengers and airport employees will be enhanced, while the screening process will become more efficient. The facial biometrics process is voluntary for US citizens.

It is important to note that initially, the Amadeus Facial Biometrics technology will be deployed only for international flights.

The integration of this technology, says Amadeus, is part of the Californian gateway’s ongoing “commitment to implementing innovative solutions that make travelling easier and more convenient for passengers”.

Passengers who wish to opt out of the new biometric process may notify an airline official or a US Customs and Border Protection officer as they approach the departure gate. They will then be required to present a valid travel document for inspection by the gate agent and they will be processed consistent with existing requirements for departure from the United States.

Cindy Nichol, director of Sacramento County Department of Airports, said: “We are thrilled to join the ranks of other leading airports in implementing biometric technology.

“This technology will save time and reduce stress for our travellers, and will provide a secure, touchless departure process for identity verification.”

While Betros Wakim, Amadeus’ SVP for airport and airline operations Americas, said: “Sacramento joins other leading airports in the US that are harnessing the unique qualities of facial biometric verification to enhance the passenger experience.

“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.

“Where possible, we advocate for a cloud approach so different airlines can be easily integrated with an airport’s biometric infrastructure. Biometrics is poised to be one of the defining aviation trends of 2023.”

To ensure a seamless implementation, the airport’s management will work closely with US Customs and Border Protection under the US Department of Homeland Security, and its airline partners.

The deployment of the biometric screening will be done in phases, with the first set of four gates already operational, and the remaining gates to be installed in the future.

“The deployment of facial biometrics technology is just one of the many ways we are working to make your travel experience as smooth and convenient as possible,” summed up, Nichol.

“At SMF, customer satisfaction is paramount, and the deployment of biometric technology is yet another way the airport is demonstrating its commitment to providing the highest level of customer service.”

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