Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is starting a biometric screening trial project to verify travellers’ identity by capturing and matching facial scans with federal records.

PHL said in a statement that the airport’s trial will last 45 days and take place at three international gates.

According to PHL, the trial hopes to optimise departing passengers’ processing times by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

CBP will install facial image capturing equipment for people both entering and exiting the USA.

According to PHL, the pilot will test three biometric systems at gates A15, A16 and A17 for select outbound international flights on Qatar, British Airways, Lufthansa and American Airlines.

The pilot programme will include a device like an iPad or tablet, mounted on boarding gate kiosks.

“As a passenger walks towards the biometric scanner, the facial recognition device will scan their face and compare it to a database. If the face matches, the machine will clear the passenger,” Chellie Cameron, CEO of PHL, explained.

Cameron added that the airport is excited to welcome this new technology.

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