The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) is piloting a biometric self-boarding e-gate at Newark Liberty airport.
Testing is taking place on Lufthansa flights departing at Gate 62 of Terminal B until August 31. Lufthansa has integrated the e-gate functionality into its departure control system.
PANYNJ is running the trial until the end of August and will then assees it for potentially wider implementation. The Port Authority will collect data that compares the speed of boarding with biometrics e-gates with traditional boarding.
If successful, PANYNJ intends to implement the facial recognition system more widely, first at the international gates and then throughout all of Terminal B.
All passengers maintain the right to opt out of the biometric system and have their passport and boarding pass checked manually
How it works
The passenger walks up the boarding e-gate and a camera takes their picture. That is checked with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) database to cross-reference images. The biometric picture taken before boarding must match the images in CBP’s existing database, which all passport holders have already entered. Once CBP sends confirmation, the airline deletes all scans within 12 hours.
Why use biometric boarding?
Like all passenger self service systems, biometric boarding has benefits for the airline and the passenger. Airlines can cut the number of staff needed at the boarding gate. The staff can be redeployed to help passengers rather than do repetitive physical tasks like checking passports. Passenger don’t have to check their pockets and bags for passports and boarding passes: all they need is their face.
The system also helps limit physical contact between attendants, passengers and shared surfaces.
The actual biometric e-gates come from EASIER and the software is from Idemia. Both companies have a highly successful record in biometric technology at airports. In June, the companies worked together to introduce biometric boarding at Tom Bradley West Terminal at LAX.