Airport will have largest rollout of biometric technology in the U.S.
Passengers departing from Miami International Airport will soon be able to board their international flights with just the quick, touchless click of a camera, thanks to a recently approved contract that will implement biometric boarding at all of MIA’s 130-plus gates.
Installation is expected to be fully completed in 2023. When finished, the project will be the largest implementation of biometric technology at any U.S. airport.
“The launch of biometric boarding at MIA is the latest way that Miami-Dade County is leveraging technology to improve customer service and simplify operations. I am proud to see our airport lead the nation with this cutting-edge innovation that will streamline the boarding process for our passengers,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
Using SITA’s Smart Path solution, which leverages NEC’s biometric identity platform, passengers will simply step up to a camera at the boarding gate and their picture is used to confirm their identities and their authorization to travel within seconds. MIA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) first tested biometric boarding in 2019 during a pilot program with select airlines, with a significant improvement in boarding times.
“We look forward to elevating our passenger experience with this state-of-the-art boarding solution. MIA is now the busiest U.S. airport for international travel and continues to set new records each month for passenger growth. Biometric boarding is one of the major steps we are taking to pave the way for additional growth in the years to come,” said Ralph Cutié, MIA Director and CEO.
MIA’s launch of biometric boarding follows its airport-wide expansion in 2020 of Simplified Arrival, CBP’s enhanced process for international arrivals that uses facial biometrics to automate the manual document checks required for admission into the U.S.
“Globally we see that passengers want a faster journey through the airport where key steps in the journey are automated. Our Smart Path biometric solution will enable future expansion to other touchpoints at MIA as well as the use of multiple forms of digital identity,” said Matthys Serfontein, President of Americas at SITA.