Sacramento installs facial recognition for international boarding

For international departures

Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is the latest US airport to introduce biometric checks for passengers boarding their flights.

The airport is now using facial recognition for international departures from four gates. It will install the biometric system at the remaining gates later.

Like all the other airports using biometrics at boarding, the system works by comparing a live picture of the passenger with pictures on record.

The system gets the live image by taking a high definition picture of the passenger at the boarding gate. Those on record are the pictures from the passenger’s passport or visa at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security systems.

The implementation of biometric screening will save time and reduce stress for passengers, as well as provide a secure, touchless departures process for identity verification.

The airport says the system will enhance the safety and security of passengers and airport employees, while the screening process becomes more efficient.

More about biometrics at US departures

The facial biometrics process is voluntary for US citizens.

Passengers who wish to opt out of the new biometric process may notify an airline official or a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer as they approach the departure gate.

These passengers present a valid travel document for inspection by the gate agent and CBP agents process them consistent with existing requirements for departures from the United States.

Cindy Nichol, Director of Sacramento County Department of Airports:

“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 travelers, and will provide a secure, touchless departure process for identity verification.”


Amadeus, a Spanish headquartered travel technology company, is the supplier of the new biometric system.

Internet links

Sacramento International Airport (SMF)

Amadeus Biometric Solutions