Abu Dhabi Airports is preparing to launch advanced biometric technology, which the operator says heralds the start of “tailored travel”.

The technology uses smart cameras to capture an image of the passenger’s face and confirms whether they are cleared to travel. The same information is then used prior to boarding, avoiding the need to present documents again.

The solution will be implemented gradually, and its first phase is currently being tested at the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility in Abu Dhabi International Airport, the only US immigration preclearance service in the region that allows passengers to clear US immigration while still in Abu Dhabi. It will also enable a smooth and quick airport experience upon arrival in the United States.

His Excellency Eng Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, managing director and CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports said: “We are looking forward to leveraging this holistic biometric technology, the first of its kind in the UAE, to further enhance our passenger journey. The project will commence at Abu Dhabi International Airport and then transfer to the new Midfield Terminal.

“We also take this opportunity to recognise Etihad, the first airline to use this technology, as well as NEXT50, our technology partner, and the UAE Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, without which today’s ground-breaking announcement would not have been possible”.

The new system, wholly financed by Abu Dhabi Airports and delivered by NEXT50, an Abu Dhabi tech-based company, will be tested on Etihad Airways flights to the US, and is phase one of a major roll-out that will be introduced throughout the entire airport for all airlines. Its introduction comes ahead of Etihad increasing flights to John F Kennedy International Airport in New York from four to 11 a week from November 15, 2022. The US CBP technology is also in place at JFK, meaning guests flying to Abu Dhabi from New York will enjoy a seamless boarding experience.

Image: Abu Dhabi Airports