Dublin Airport to trial document-free boarding for travel to UK airport

27 Mar 2019

Image: DAA

Dublin Airport passengers travelling to Bristol Airport will have the option to be boarded using US facial recognition technology.

A US company called Collins Aerospace is rolling out a series of trials of technology that it claims could significantly speed up security checks for airports, including Dublin Airport. Announced today (27 March), the trial is part of an agreement between the DAA (Dublin Airport Authority) and Bristol Airport which will see biometric and facial recognition technology used for passengers travelling to and from the UK airport.

The opt-in trial will start in Dublin next month, whereby a passenger signed up to the SelfPass system would agree to have their biometric data stored on their passport as well as the airports’ systems.

This data would then be used at self-service check-in and would be linked to their boarding card and checked-in luggage tag. When the passenger arrives at the boarding gate, their face will be scanned and cross-referenced with the information already on the system which, supposedly, means no documents will need to be presented.

“Dublin and Bristol airports are changing the way passengers travel and making the process easier and more efficient,” said Christopher Forrest, vice-president of global airport systems for Collins Aerospace.

“For example, it takes less than one second to capture and process a passenger’s facial image and eliminates the need to repeatedly present travel documents. We see this as another major leap forward for our biometric technology to play a key role in making the connected aviation ecosystem a reality.”

Meanwhile, the vice-president of the DAA’s project management office, Frances O’Brien, said: “We are delighted with the early progress of the trial in testing so far and we look forward to extending the technology to a wider audience, including passengers travelling to the US in the coming months.”

The announcement comes at the same time as the US airline JetBlue announced that passengers boarding international flights at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport can use SelfPass.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic