The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, unveiled a new biometric screening system Thursday that uses facial-recognition technology to streamline passenger verification and boarding on outbound international flights.
The new system, known as veriScanTM, was designed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s Office of Technology in response to a congressional mandate for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to implement biometric exit processes for commercial airline flights leaving the United States.
The new system has been successfully tested by airlines serving Washington Dulles International Airport since July 2018, including United Airlines, Air France-KLM and Scandinavian Airlines, and is under review by American Airlines. The veriScan system meets the requirements set forth by CBP for biometric exit procedures at airports and will be available at all international gates at both Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport for airline use by November 2018.
“CBP and our airport and airlines partners are redefining travel by using biometric technology to add convenience, efficiency and security to international arrivals and departures,” said CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “We have a great partner in the Airports Authority, whose forward-leaning approach to utilizing CBP’s verification system will enable international travelers at Dulles International Airport to experience a frictionless boarding process before the end of the year.”
Using proprietary software loaded on a portable tablet, veriScan encrypts and sends high-resolution photos of passengers boarding international flights to the CBP Traveler Verification Service for nearly instant identity verification. When integrated with airline boarding systems, veriScan will further streamline and expedite the boarding process by eliminating the need for boarding passes.
“We designed this technology to be deployed quickly and offer a portable, flexible and inexpensive solution to meet U.S. Customs biometric exit screening requirements,” said Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter. “In addition to meeting the congressional mandate for identity verification, a future version of veriScan is under development with airlines to streamline the boarding process and enhance the passenger experience by offering one step for both biometric exit and passenger boarding, eliminating the need for boarding passes.”
The entire veriScan screening process takes less than two seconds, helping airlines expedite the boarding process. Unlike other facial recognition systems requiring the installation of large equipment and dedicated communications and electrical lines at each gate, the veriScan system is uses battery-powered, Wi-Fi / cellular connected tablets that are portable and interchangeable among gates. Because of this, veriScan is easy to install, requiring only a 30-minute training before it can be used by airline gate agents, and costs one-tenth that of other commercially available solutions.
For more information on the veriScan biometric boarding system, visit airportveriscan.com. A release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on biometric entry and exit at Dulles International Airport is also available online.
About the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority operates the U.S. Capital Region’s gateways to the nation and the world, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, as well as the Dulles Airport Access Highway, the Dulles Toll Road and construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Metrorail public transit system through northern Virginia. A record 46.6 million passengers passed through the two airports in 2017.
About U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with ensuring legitimate trade and tourism, keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.