TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Biometric screening is ready for use at some gates at Tampa International Airport.
According to the airport’s website, TPA has eight biometric scanners exclusively at international airline gates. Several more are on the way.
When a passenger walks up to a gate, the biometric scanner takes a photo and compares it to the person’s passport photo on file with U.S. Customers and Board Protection. The technology also confirms the passenger’s name is on the flight’s manifest and will clear or reject the passenger. The process takes five seconds.
“By 2024, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has mandated that all U.S. international flights use biometric scanners,” TPA IT Analyst David Golden said. “The ones we’ve been implementing at TPA will replace, in many cases, the traditional boarding pass scanners.”
The airport gave an example of just how quickly the scanner technology can speed up the boarding process. It reports a plane carrying around 130 passengers will be able to board in 11 minutes.
The current average boarding time of an aircraft that size is approximately 30 to 40 minutes, according to the airport.
“We are joining the ranks of other major airports using this new technology to speed up and simplify the airport experience,” Golden said. “Multiple airlines are currently working with the airport to implement this new process and our goal is to have multiple biometric scanners in use soon.”
Within the next 10 to 15 years, TPA expects to have biometric technology in place for passengers to check a bag, use the shuttles, pass through security and board a flight without needing a paper boarding pass.