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Jan 15, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Los Angeles: American Airlines testing biometrics at airports

After the inauguration of the first biometric terminal in the USA at Atlanta a few days ago, American Airlines has now said that it is to adopt facial recognition via a solution called LFIS, developed by Gemalto. After a first test phase of 90 days at Los Angeles airport, the US carrier is hoping to expand usage of the system to other airports.    

US carrier American Airlines has taken on a biometric application called "Live Face Identification System" (LFIS), designed by Gemalto – a multinational company specialising in digital security. The system is designed to make boarding procedures for passengers safer and quicker, and is currently undergoing a test phase at Los Angeles airport (LAX), according to French website Tom Travel.

Increasing security levels and speeding up the boarding process

The Live Face Identification System sees passengers having their faces scanned by a reader which then compares it with the photo in their passports that has previously been stored in  immigration databases. After validation, the images captured by the scanner are then immediately deleted in order to comply with data protection regulations, according to Infoprotection.fr.

This solution means that passengers can "use their face instead of a boarding pass", thus improving security and speeding up the procedure, says Neville Pattinson, vice president of governmental programmes at Gemalto. Its implementation can also be easily integrated into the systems used by security agents and will not require any significant changes to access control infrastructure.

Test phase for three months

The Gemalto system has been assessed as having a recognition rate of 99.44% according to figures from the US Homeland Security department, and can process the identification of a passenger in less than five seconds, which is a significant advantage during busy periods.

For the test phase, which is said to be lasting three months, just the one LFIS has been installed at Terminal 4 of Los Angeles airport. Passengers have the choice between using facial recognition and traditional boarding methods, and either way are required to have their passports with them. If the tests prove conclusive, American Airlines will deploy LFIS in other terminals and other airports. 

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Cover photo credits: Pixabay/bilaleldaou

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