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Miami Airport Will Verify Every Passenger’s Identity Through New Biometric Scanners

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Travelers will just have to show their faces instead of the boarding passes to get authorized to board within seconds

The future is arriving at Miami International Airport (MIA) Airport authorities recently announced that they would soon have the largest biometric boarding technology implementation in the United States. The new installation will allow passengers to quickly board international flights with a touchless click of a camera. 

According to the official information, the deployment of the technology in over 130 gates is expected to be finished by 2023. The project is part of an alliance with multinational technology company SITA and the collaboration and authorization of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Miami-Dade County Mayor, Daniella Levine Cava, said: “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.”

Air travelers pass through automated facial recognition control gates at Heathrow Airport

The new technology will use the passenger’s picture to confirm identity and authorize travel within seconds. It was first tested with selected airlines during a pilot program in 2019, and the boarding time significantly improved. 

Ralph Cutié, MIA Director and CEO, said: “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.”

This news comes to counter the airport’s bad reputation since Miami’s airport has the longest wait time at security in the United States. Airport authorities hope that the new technology speeds up processes and allows passengers to board faster than ever.

More About Miami’s New Installation

chinese man using face identification before entering gate

The implementation of this new technology that quickly recognized individual traits comes as a response to passengers’ needs —according to the information shared by the airport— and also to follow a program of expansion and process enhancement set in 2020 by the CBP to use facial biometrics for admission into the US.

Matthys Serfontein, President of Americas at SITA, said: “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.”

Facade Of Miami International Airport

However, Miami’s airport isn’t the first to use the Biometric Facial Comparison in the United States. According to the information shared on Phocus Wired, in 2018, Orlando International Airport became the first to use SITA’s system—at 30 boarding gates— for international flights. 

In a video, the airport shows travelers how biometric boarding works: Travelers just have to stand for a few seconds in front of the camera and wait for the approval sign to keep walking and board the plane. Passengers should soon start seeing this system at their international boarding gates at Miami’s airport.

Traveler’s Faces Are The New Boarding Passes

Other airports around the world have already started using similar technology during the past few years. These biometric systems are already being used in international airports in Beijing, Rome, Athens, Istanbul, and Kuala Lumpur. 

The Colosseum In Rome, Italy

Recently, Singapore announced that it will be deploying iris and facial biometric verification by the end of 2022 at the Changi Airport. The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) authorities also announced a recent investment in biometrics for air travel, and Brazil has also been deploying the technology at  Congonhas (São Paulo) and Santos Dumont (Rio de Janeiro) airports.


Travelers in the United States who do not feel comfortable with biometric facial recognition can refuse—as reported by PCMag— and the airline should offer the traditional method.

Read More:

These U.S. Airports Have The Longest Wait Times At Security

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 For 2021

U.S. Airports Are Getting New High Tech Scanners That Will Speed Up Security Lines

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