October 29 2018  |  Airline & Terminal News

Emirates testing "biometric path" at DXB

By Rick Lundstrom

Biometric equipment being tested at select Emirates boarding gates, Concourse B, Dubai airport

Emirates will be launching what it says is the world’s first “biometric path” that will offer passengers a smooth and seamless airport journey at the airline’s hub at Dubai International Airport.

Utilizing a mix of facial and iris recognition, Emirates passengers can soon check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates Lounge, and board their flights, simply by strolling through the airport.

The latest biometric equipment has been installed at Emirates Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport. The equipment can be found at select check-in counters, at the Emirates Lounge in Concourse B for premium passengers, and at select boarding gates. Areas where biometric equipment are installed will be clearly marked.

Trials for the Smart Tunnel, a project by the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) in collaboration with Emirates, was launched October 10. Passengers walk through a tunnel and are “cleared” by immigration authorities without human intervention or the need for a physical passport stamp.

Once its internal tests are completed, Emirates plans to launch trials for biometric processing at the other key customer points at the airport – check-in, lounge, and boarding gate – and subsequently at transit counters/gates, and for its chauffeur drive services. All biometric data will be stored with GDRFA, and customers invited to participate in the trials will be asked for their consent.

“Guided by our chairman His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates continuously innovates and strives to improve our day-to-day business,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. “After extensive research and evaluation of numerous technologies and new approaches to enhance our passenger journey, we are now satisfied with the preliminary work we have carried out and are ready to commence live trials of the world’s first biometric path at Emirates Terminal 3.”

Eventually, the “live” passenger tracking capability will also improve security and the airline’s ability to deliver even better and more personalised services. For instance, enabling the Emirates airport team to locate and assist ‘late’ customers who would otherwise miss their flights.

The airline’s “biometric path” will cover departures, arrivals, transit, chauffeur drive connections, and lounge access in Dubai. Initially focused on First and Business class travelers, Emirates intends to extend the “biometric path” to Economy class travelers in Dubai, and in the future potentially to other airports outside of Dubai, and also for its own dedicated crew check in facility.

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