Fly by Face: ANA Tests Biometric Boarding in Portugal

Aeroportos de Portugal (ANA) has started a trial of a biometric system for boarding flights at Portuguese airports.

Imagine skipping the boarding pass shuffle and flashing your face instead. Well, Portugal’s airport operator, ANA, is making it a reality with a new biometric boarding trial.

Passengers register their biometric details via an app or airport kiosk. At the boarding gate, an ABC kiosk uses facial recognition to check their details.

The biometric system improves the passenger experience as passengers don’t have to show their boarding pass or passport at the gate.

The trial is on some flights with TAP Air Portugal from Lisbon and Porto to destinations in the EU Schengen area.

How it works

To use the biometric system passengers register their details in advance on their mobile using the “Biometric Experience by VINCI Airports” app. They can also register at special kiosks at the airport.

To register:

  • passengers photograph or scan their boarding pass, electronic passport or Portuguese nationality card
  • take a selfie
  • accept the terms and conditions

Biometric Experience by VINCI Airports.

The trial is part of a larger project called Biometric Experience by VINCI Airports, paid for by the EU, through the NextGenerationEU program.

ANA/VINCI launched the project at the beginning of 2024 at Lisbon and Porto airports.

This is just the start. By late 2024, Faro, Madeira, and Ponta Delgada airports will join the system. And in the future, they plan to welcome more airlines and non-European flights.


The system is being supplied by the Portuguese company Vision-Box. They are supplying the enrollment kiosks, the boarding gates and the systems to make it all work.


Of course, some passengers may have concerns about the security and privacy of their biometric data. Passengers are naturally concerned about a number of issues, including:

  • who has their biometric and other personal details
  • where are they stored and for how long
  • who has access to the details
  • what they are used for

VINCI and TAP have this to say to reassure passengers:

  • VINCI Airports: the passenger has ‘a total guarantee of confidentiality, since the data is deleted after the flight departs.’
  • TAP Air Portugal: ‘Privacy is guaranteed as personal data is protected and deleted after flight departure.’

These statements possibly reassure some passengers but leave a lot unknown.

Internet links

TAP Air Portugal (TP)

ANA Aeroportos de Portugal

VINCI Airports