Orlando airport will test facial-recognition screening on international travelers


  • Photo via Orlando International Airport Facebook
Earlier this month, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board moved to equip Orlando International Airport with biometric screening technology for all international flights inbound and outbound.

The move makes OIA the first airport in the nation to use the facial-recognition technology, otherwise known as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Biometric Entry and Exit Program. To integrate the passenger processing system, the GOAA Board approved $4 million in funding to fully deploy the system.

“Customer satisfaction is always our top priority and the goal of the Board is to make the journey through [OIA] as enjoyable as possible. This program will benefit our more than six million annual international passengers by delivering a simpler travel process,” says Frank Kruppenbacher, chairman of the GOAA, in a news release.

According to the release, OIA and CBP have been testing the system for passengers boarding British Airways flights to the United Kingdom. Early results estimated that the system enabled passengers to board in less than 15 minutes, in part because it eliminated the need for passengers to handle boarding passes and passports prior to entry.

(For more on how the entry and exit processes work, click here.)

As OIA is Florida’s largest airport and sees more than 45 million passengers a year (six million of whom are traveling internationally), the decision to take Orlando’s premiere airport in a seemingly Orwellian direction is only the latest in the Board’s effort to cut wait times for travelers.

Earlier this month, OIA officials finally backed off the option of replacing Transportation Security Administration officers for a private security force.

The decision would have made OIA the country’s largest airport to opt out of using TSA, which was formed following the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

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