Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport in Florida has partnered with Amadeus to enable biometric boarding for all international departures with Spirit Airlines.
Using Amadeus’ facial-recognition technology passengers departing from the Florida hub can now scan their face instead of their boarding pass when boarding their flight. The upgrade delivers a touchless boarding experience whilst complying with the US Customs & Border Protection Agency (CBP) requirements for all international travellers to biometrically validate when they have left the country.
Spirit Airlines, which is rolling out reduced-contact experiences for travellers across the country, is the first carrier at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood to use the new touchless technology. “Biometric technology will let us make the trip from curb to gate faster and easier, and it’s part of what we call the ‘Airport of the Future,’” said Spirit Vice President of Airport Services, Mike Byrom.
Passengers are verified to depart when they step in front of one of the new ‘Biopods’ from ICM Airport Technics, an Amadeus company, installed at 14 of Spirit’s traditional departure gates in Terminal 4. Each ‘Biopod’ features a high-resolution 3D camera and secure encrypted connectivity to the CBP Traveller Verification System (TVS). The image captured at the boarding gate is then matched against the images stored by CBP. In line with privacy regulations, no personal biometric data is stored by Spirit, the airport, other airlines or Amadeus.
Once passengers have been verified, a unique tokenised identity representing the respective traveller is generated. The airline is alerted to the fact that passenger is now boarding the aircraft.
Commenting on the new service, Mark Gale, CEO/ Director of Aviation at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport said: “If they wish, international departing passengers from Fort Lauderdale can now choose a completely automated and technology-enabled experience during boarding, without the need to interact with an agent.”
Betros Wakim, President Airport IT Americas, Airport IT, Amadeus added: “Our mission is to deliver a safer and more streamlined passenger experience. We have therefore built an end-to-end and scalable biometric solution that is flexible enough to deploy any biometric hardware device from check-in kiosks to self-bag drop devices to biometric boarding gates. The solution is easily integrated with airline systems allowing an airport to rapidly add biometric capability,”