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TIA set to debut biometric technology

Margie Manning

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(Photos provided by Tampa International Airport)

Tampa International Airport plans to roll out facial recognition technology this summer.

The airport will begin using facial recognition devices in lieu of showing a passport at three international gates at Airside F for screening all departing international passengers. After a trial period, TIA plans to install the technology at 10 gates – seven at Airside F, two at Airside E and one at Airside C – by 2020.

The move follows an executive order issued by President Donald Trump that stipulated facial recognition identification be used in the 20 largest U.S. airports for all international passengers, including U.S. citizens, by 2021, according to TechNewsWorld.com.

TechNewsWorld said there are concerns about the readiness of the facial recognition technology. TIA stressed the convenience of the system, saying it would speed up the boarding process.

“Imagine traveling through an airport and never once needing to show your ID or boarding pass. No awkward digging through your purse. No struggle to remove your driver’s license out of that little plastic sleeve. No panic when you can’t get your boarding pass to load on your phone,” a news release from the airport said.

The technology also is designed to improve security and provide more accurate passenger metrics to TIA.

The airport will use an iPad on a stand that serves as a camera and take a picture while a passenger is getting in line, said Daniel Glennon, TIA’s director of guest services. “Within a matter of seconds, it can determine your identification.”

The airport also plans to install electronic gates at the entrance to the Airside A shuttle this summer to test the concept for use at all four shuttle entrances. Passengers will scan their boarding passes at the e-gate in order to get on the shuttle. If the pilot at Airside A is a success, the e-gates will be deployed at the remaining three shuttle entrances in early 2020.

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