Florida Airport Will be the First to Scan Every International Traveler’s Face

Florida Airport Will be the First to Scan Every International Traveler's Face | airport | Government Science & Technology Special Interests Surveillance
Passengers line up at security check points before heading to their departure gates at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Fla. [image credit: AP PHOTO/JOHN RAOUX]
(DEFENSE ONE) Officials with Customs and Border Protection’s Entry/Exit have a way to shorten the long lines at airline gates while improving security and meeting an almost 15-year-old mandate from Congress.

Officials announced June 21 that Orlando International would be the first airport in the country to screen every international passenger using facial recognition technology. CBP has been running biometric pilots—including facial recognition—at 13 airports across the country but Orlando will be the first to use the system on all travelers.

In 2004, Congress charged the CBP with finding a way to apply biometric screening at all border crossings—including land, air and sea. The agency has struggled to comply, citing difficulties in finding the right technology to improve security without adding significant travel delays.

“We are at a critical turning point in the implementation of a biometric entry-exit system, and we’ve found a path forward that transforms travel for all travelers,” CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said at a June 21 press conference. “The valuable collaboration with stakeholder partners like [the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority] has resulted in real momentum and it has brought us to where we are today, the first fully biometric entry-exit deployment at an airport.”

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