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Terminal 1: JFK Airport Launches Facial Recognition Boarding

Published: October 9, 2019
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A biometric self-boarding gate has officially been launched at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 1, officials said Tuesday.

Lufthansa has deployed the paperless, high-tech boarding process – which uses facial recognition technology to verify travelers with a photo capture — at its largest US gateway at the Queens airport.

Air France, Japan Airlines and Norwegian Airlines are expected to follow suit at the terminal, officials said.

“It’s become crucial for airports and airlines to adopt biometric capabilities along the processes which require interaction with the traveler, therefore enhancing and scaling operational capacity for growing quicker within their existing footprint,” said Miguel Leitmann, the CEO and founder of Vision-Box, which brought the new boarding method to Terminal 1 through a partnership with US Customs and Border Protection and Terminal One Group Association.

The digital boarding process validates the eligibility of a traveler without having to present a passport or boarding pass.

When a passenger approaches a self-boarding gate, a biometric-enabled camera integrated in the gate captures the passenger’s facial image.

That image is then securely sent to US Customs’ Traveler Verification Service, which “conducts a matching process with the stored digital facial token captured at the initial immigration process or from the US passport,” according to Vision-Box.

“Within seconds the system reconciles the passenger identity and his eligibility to enter the flight. The positive match of both verification’s triggers to open the eGate doors and the passenger can board the airplane.”

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