CBP and Aerostar launch face recognition technology at LMM Airport
US Customs and Border Protection and Aerostar announced the implementation of a Biometric Exit face-recognition identification process at the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport.
Biometric Exit is a touchless international departure process that uses facial biometrics to automate the manual document checks that are already required for departure from airports and seaports in the United States.
“At Aerostar, we’re looking forward to the implementation of this pilot program that will offer a contactless solution in boarding gates and will improve the passenger’s experience as well as airport security,” stated Jorge Hernandez, CEO of Aerostar.
The public-private partnership between the CBP and Aerostar is “the best way to fulfill a longstanding Congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens,” the CBP said in a release.
Biometric Exit is currently deployed at 27 airports in the United States.
“As an agency, we’re always working on innovative solutions to facilitate travel while also fulfilling our border security mission,” said San Juan Field Office Director of Field Operations Gregory Álvarez.
“Biometric facial comparison, both at entry and departure points, provides a touchless identity verification process that enhances security and improves efficiency, protecting not only travelers, but airline and airport employees as well as our own CBP Officers,” he said.
Copa Airlines is the first international airline to collaborate with CBP and Aerostar to advance this initiative at LMM.
“At Copa, we’re excited to be pioneers of this program’s implementation at Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport,” said Luis Fermín, COPA’s regional airport manager.
“We value our partnership with CBP and strive to make our passengers’ journey safer and seamless every day,” he said.
To date, more than 61 million travelers have participated in the secure, seamless, and touchless experience of the biometric facial comparison process at air, land and sea ports of entry.
Biometric Exit only uses the biometric facial comparison process at a time and place where travelers are already required by law to verify their identity by presenting a travel document.
When travelers depart from LMM on international Copa Airlines flights, they will pause for a photo at the departure gate. CBP’s Biometric Exit process will compare the traveler’s new photo to a small gallery of high-quality images that the traveler has already provided to the US government, such as passport and visa photos.
Biometric Exit pairs one of the industry’s highest ranked facial comparison algorithms with CBP officers who are skilled at verifying the authenticity of travel documents.
If a traveler cannot be matched to a photo on record through Biometric Exit, they will proceed through the traditional inspection process consistent with existing requirements for departure from the United States.
Travelers who wish to opt out of the new biometric process may notify an airline official or a CBP officer as they approach the departure gate, the CBP stated.
“These travelers will be required to present a valid travel document for inspection by the gate agent and they will be processed consistent with existing requirements for departure from the United States,” it said in a statement, adding it has taken steps to safeguard the privacy of all travelers.