13 November 2016

Introduction Face Detection at different airports in the US

The US CBP test with Biometric Face Detection at several international airports in the US.

Introduction Face Detection at different airports in the US

According to the US CBP, travellers, airport staff, pilots and airlines have cooperated in the investigations on the introduction of face recognition checks at the airports. The result of the research is that the use of face recognition is considered a valid solution to reduce queues and this could allow accelerating flow of travellers. In addition, it can also be used whether the traveller is really the person mentioned in the passport and that allows terrorists to be refused in time. Currently they are testing the system at multiple airports with different collaborating parties to investigate further if this type of control is reliable and easy for the traveller.

First airports with face recognition

Washington Dulles, George Bush, McCarran and Chicago O'Hare International Airports are already using biometric face recognition on selected flights. US Customs and Border Protection has announced this summer to use face recognition at several international airports.


At the international airports John F Kennedy, Boston Logan and Hartsfield-Jackson e-gates will be tested on short term. For this purpose, flights will be selected, allowing passengers to board fully independently using face recognition in combination with their passport and boarding pass.

How does it work?

When booking the flight, the traveller must provide a photo of the passport to the airline. The airline sends the pictures to the secure Internet environment of the CBP. Here a photo archive of travellers can be found. The photos are temporarily stored in the CBP's database. Upon arrival, a passenger will be photographed and this picture will be compared with the photo on the passport. If the face is recognised, access will be allowed. The picture and data will be completely removed from the system after a short while.


The CBP indicates that they will comply with existing privacy laws and regulations and ensure the privacy of all passengers. In addition, the CBP has prepared a Privacy Impact Assessment to provide travellers with insight into how the photos are used and temporarily stored.