Sacramento Airport deploys facial biometric boarding for international departures

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Sacramento International Airport (SMF) in California has deployed Amadeus facial biometrics technology at certain boarding gates.

The technology will compare live photos to the traveler’s existing passport or visa photo in secure US Department of Homeland Security systems to improve the process of verifying traveler identities and the security of passengers and airport employees. The facial biometrics process is voluntary for US citizens.

Initially, the Amadeus facial biometrics technology will be deployed for international flights only. The implementation of biometric screening is expected to save time and reduce stress for travelers, and provide a secure, touchless identity verification process.

Travelers who wish to opt out of the new biometric process may notify an airline official or a US Customs and Border Protection officer as they approach the departure gate. These travelers will be required to present a valid travel document for inspection by the gate agent and will be processed according to existing requirements for departure from the US.

The airport’s management will work with US Customs and Border Protection under the US Department of Homeland Security, and its airline partners. The deployment of the biometric screening will be done in phases, with the first set of four gates already operational and the remaining gates to be installed in the future.

Cindy Nichol, director of Sacramento County Department of Airports, stated, “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.

“The deployment of Amadeus facial biometrics technology is just one of the many ways we are working to make your travel experience as smooth and convenient as possible. At SMF, customer satisfaction is paramount, and the deployment of biometric technology is yet another way the airport is demonstrating its commitment to providing the highest level of customer service.”

Betros Wakim, senior vice president of airport and airline operations at Amadeus Americas, said, “Sacramento joins other leading airports in the US that are harnessing the unique qualities of facial biometric verification to enhance the passenger experience. At Amadeus, we are working with a growing number of airports and airlines to build biometric identity technology into different stages of the airport experience, from check-in to bag drop and also boarding. Where possible, we advocate a cloud approach so different airlines can be easily integrated with an airport’s biometric infrastructure. Biometrics is poised to be one of the defining aviation trends of 2023.”

To learn more about Amadeus’s biometric solutions, visit Booth 1200 at Passenger Terminal Expo on March 14-16, 2023, in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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