MWAA brings facial recognition to the airline boarding process

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is enabling paperless boarding via a biometric identity management system that uses facial recognition technology — no boarding pass or passport required.

MWAA brings facial recognition to the airline boarding process

In Washington, D.C., airports, and several other airports around the U.S., passengers can now use their face as a boarding pass and passport thanks to veriScan, a biometric identity management system that leverages facial recognition technology.

In 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) approached the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) for help. CBP wanted MWAA to implement biometric verification of passengers leaving the U.S. on commercial flights.

"At that time, [CBP] were handling the biometric entry portion at U.S. airports, so veriScan was built to address departing passengers," says Goutam Kundu, CIO at MWAA.

Since then, however, MWAA, which operates both Ronald Reagan International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, has started building out the veriScan biometric use case for other applications, including offering the platform to other airports around the country.

"Because my team works regularly with our airports to help improve both operations and the passenger journey, we already had a healthy understanding of existing and emerging business needs," Kundu says. "These opportunities have also been validated by our airport peers, who share many of the same pain points."

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