Largest US rollout of biometric boarding technology approved for Miami Airport

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Miami-Dade County has approved a contract for the installation of biometric boarding technology at more than 130 gates at Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida.

When completed in 2023, the project will be the largest implementation of biometric technology at any US airport, according to MIA.

Daniella Levine Cava, mayor of Miami-Dade County, said, “The launch of biometric boarding at MIA is the latest way that Miami-Dade County is leveraging technology to improve customer service and simplify operations. I am proud to see our airport lead the nation with this cutting-edge innovation that will streamline the boarding process for our passengers.”

Using SITA’s Smart Path solution, which leverages NEC’s biometric identity platform, passengers will have their photo taken at the boarding gate, which is then used to confirm their identity and authorization to travel. MIA and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) first tested biometric boarding in 2019 during a pilot program with selected airlines, and noted a significant improvement in boarding times.

Ralph Cutié, director and CEO of MIA, said, “We look forward to elevating our passenger experience with this state-of-the-art boarding solution. MIA is now the busiest US airport for international travel and continues to set new records each month for passenger growth. Biometric boarding is one of the major steps we are taking to pave the way for additional growth in the years to come.”

MIA’s launch of biometric boarding follows its airport-wide expansion in 2020 of Simplified Arrival, CBP’s enhanced process for international arrivals that uses facial biometrics to automate the manual document checks required for admission into the US.

Matthys Serfontein, president of Americas at SITA, said, “Globally we see that passengers want a faster journey through the airport where key steps in the journey are automated. Our Smart Path biometric solution will enable future expansion to other touchpoints at MIA as well as the use of multiple forms of digital identity.”

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Dan originally joined Passenger Terminal World in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest aviation news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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