Facial Recognition Pilot Program at Newark Airport

The port authority of New Jersey is piloting a self-boarding gate at Newark Liberty International Airport using biometric data from passengers. Using a database of passenger data the scanner uses previous images of the passenger to confirm their identity. The pilot is currently underway at Gate 62 of Terminal B where it is being tested until August 31st and will then be evaluated for a wider rollout.

The typical boarding process requires passengers to wait in line while an attendant scans their boarding passes and confirms their identities. Using this eGate process passengers do not need access to their boarding pass or identification and the process is much more streamlined and requires no interaction with an attendant who is then free to perform other tasks. There is also reduced contact among individuals reducing the spread of potential germs or viruses on shared surfaces.

“The passenger walks right up to the e-gate, which takes a biometric scan and confirms a passenger is okay to board,” said Raymond Viggiano, International Facility Supervisor at EWR. “There’s very little interaction needed there.” “We’ve looked at the entire passenger trajectory, from bag drop to checkpoint, to seat, and we really worked to improve the airport experience,” Viggiano said. “Seeing our early successes here, I really think biometrics is the way of the future.”