George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, has installed biometric exit technology designed to improve safety and efficiency.
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has deployed the facial recognition technology for a daily flight operated by United Airlines from Houston to Tokyo, Japan.
Using the flight manifest, CBP builds a flight-specific photo gallery by using passenger photographs from their travel documents. CBP’s facial recognition software then compares the photo of the passenger from the gallery to a live photo to ensure that travelers are the true bearer of required documents.
If the photo captured at boarding matches a US passport, the traveler — having been confirmed as a US citizen — is automatically accepted for biometric exit purposes and the photo is discarded after a short period of time.
Željka Momirović, director of international relations at the airport, said, “The Houston Airport System enjoys a strong partnership with CBP and is pleased to be a part of the initial deployment of this technology, joining only two other airports in the nation.”
John Wagner, CBP’s deputy executive assistant commissioner for the office of field operations, commented, “Through our consultations with the airlines and airport stakeholders, and based on the success of several pilots, CBP determined that facial recognition was a viable exit solution.
“With the expansion of this technology we will be looking at different flights, airports, lighting conditions, and internal IT configurations to demonstrate to our stakeholders that this solution is flexible, reliable and easy for travelers to use.”