US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has implemented biometric facial comparison technology at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). This is part of its efforts to secure and streamline international travel.
“CBP is expanding the use of facial biometrics to provide travelers with a safe, touchless international arrival process that further secures and modernizes air travel,” says Barry Chastain, CBP director for Charlotte. “Our valuable partnership with CLT continues to enhance the travel experience. In addition, CBP looks forward to partnering with stakeholders at other international ports of entry across NC to implement Simplified Arrival.”
The Simplified Arrival scheme is an enhanced international arrival process that uses facial biometrics to automate the manual document checks that are already required for admission into the United States. This process, states CBP, provides travelers with a secure, touchless travel experience while fulfilling a longstanding congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-US citizens.
“We are excited to partner with US Customs and Border Protection to offer Simplified Arrival at CLT,” says acting aviation director Haley Gentry. “As one of the busiest airports in the world, this innovative technology will provide our millions of passengers each year with an enhanced customer experience upon their return to the US.”
The biometric facial comparison process occurs only at a time and place where travelers are already required by law to verify their identity by presenting a travel document. When a traveler arrives at CLT, he or she will pause for a photo at the primary inspection point.
A CBP officer will review and query the travel document, which will retrieve the traveler’s passport or visa photo from government holdings and compare it with the new photo. The system is claimed to be more than 98% accurate.
Furthermore, foreign travelers who have traveled to the United States previously may no longer need to provide fingerprints, as their identity will be confirmed through the biometric process.