Emirates preparing to launch “biometric path”

Facial and iris recognition from check-in to boarding

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Biometric equipment being tested at select Emirates boarding gates, Concourse B, Dubai airport. World’s first “biometric path” will enable smooth Emirates passenger journeys from check-in to boarding.

Emirates will soon introduce what it is referring to as the world’s first integrated “biometric path” at Dubai International Airport (DXB). The new pathway will offer customers a “smooth and truly seamless airport journey”.

The implementation of biometric technology is the latest phase of Emirates’ multimillion dollar project which kicked off three years ago.

Utilising the latest biometric technology – a mix of facial and iris recognition –Emirates passengers can soon check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates Lounge and board their flights simply by strolling through the airport, the airline said.

New biometric equipment has already been installed at Emirates Terminal 3 at DXB, located at select check-in counters, the Emirates Lounge in Concourse B for premium passengers and at select boarding gates.

The tech will initially be offered to Emirates’ First and Business class travellers before being extended to Economy class in the future. There is also a potential for the technology to be introduced at airports outside of Dubai.

Trials for the Smart Tunnel, a project by the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) in collaboration with Emirates, were launched on 10 October. It is a world-first for passport control, where passengers simply walk through a tunnel and are “cleared” by immigration authorities without human intervention or the need for a physical passport stamp.

Once its internal tests are completed, Emirates will launch trials for biometric processing at the other key customer points at the airport – check-in, lounge, and boarding gate – and subsequently at transit counters/gates and for its chauffeur drive services. All biometric data will be stored with GDRFA, and customers invited to participate in the trials will be asked for their consent.

“All systems will eventually be linked with each other resulting in better service to our customers and a happier journey whether arriving, departing or transiting in Dubai. This is very much in line with Emirates’ ‘Fly Better’ brand promise. We will soon invite customers to participate in the trials for our biometric path, and we look forward to their feedback,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer.

Biometric equipment being tested at select Emirates boarding gates, Concourse B, Dubai airport. World’s first “biometric path” will enable smooth Emirates passenger journeys from check-in to boarding.
Biometric equipment being tested at select Emirates boarding gates, Concourse B, Dubai airport. World’s first “biometric path” will enable smooth Emirates passenger journeys from check-in to boarding.

Emirates’ “biometric path” will improve customer experience and customer flow through the airport with less document checks and less queuing. Eventually, the “live” passenger tracking capability will also improve security and the airline’s ability to deliver even better and more personalised service, for instance, enabling the Emirates airport team to locate and assist ‘late’ customers who would otherwise miss their flights.

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