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Delta to Roll Out Facial Recognition in Atlanta Domestic Terminal

Oct 29,2021

The way some frequent fliers pass through Atlanta is about to change, as Delta Air Lines rolls out a facial recognition pilot program in the domestic terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International as early as next week.

Its another expansion of biometrics, after Atlanta-based Delta rolled out facial recognition for international travelers at the airport in 2018.

The goal is to make the travel experience more convenient and hands-free and touch-free,said Greg Forbes, Deltas managing director of airport experience. The shift to biometrics started years ago. What COVID did was accelerate it,he added.

However, some have raised privacy issues and other concerns as the use of facial recognition technology grows.

Delta plans to launch the pilot program as early as Nov. 3, pending Transportation Security Administration approvals, and continue it until June 2022.

The airline plans to add facial recognition as an option for domestic travelers out of Atlanta who meet certain criteria: they have a passport, are members of the TSAs PreCheck trusted traveler program, are Delta SkyMiles members with their passport information and Known Traveler Number in their profile, and check in via Deltas app.

Combined, Delta says about a quarter of its Atlanta customers would meet those conditions, and theyre likely to be frequent fliers. If they are checking in for a domestic flight, they will be asked on the Delta app if they want to opt in to the facial recognition pilot program thats a partnership with the TSA.

When such passengers arrive at the Atlanta airport, they can go to a new PreCheck Express bag droproom with facial recognition camera stations to print out bag tags and drop luggage on a conveyor belt on the lower level of Terminal South.

At the Terminal South PreCheck security checkpoint near Deltas check-in area, TSA has one facial recognition camera where pilot program participants can have their identify verified without having to pull out their ID or boarding pass.

Delta says many who would qualify for its pilot program are also Clear members, who use an iris scan or fingerprints to verify their identity rather than pulling out a drivers license.

Delta also has the cameras at its gates on Concourse T, where those who are part of the pilot program can notify the gate agent during boarding to use facial recognition instead of scanning a boarding pass.

The Association for Computing Machinerys Technology Policy Council last year raised concerns about facial recognition, saying its use has often compromised fundamental human and legal rights of individuals to privacy, employment, justice and personal liberty.

However, the councils chair, James Hendler, said in a written statement that Deltas use of facial recognition makes it clear where and how it is being used,offers the ability to opt out and has human backup when the system is inaccurate, enhancing the ethical use of the technology.

Deltas expansion of facial recognition has been a gradual process, with different pilots and tests over the years and a vision to use biometrics for a curb-to-gateexperience.

At Hartsfield-Jackson, facial recognition is currently used at international gates, where passengers must opt out if they dont want their faces scanned.

At the Detroit airport, Delta earlier this year launched facial recognition for domestic travelers at the security checkpoint, and plans to add facial recognition to ticket counters there also.

Under this background, the International Smart Airport Development Forum will be held on February 23rd-24th, 2022 in Shanghai, China. The forum was hosted by Shanghai Society of Aeronautics, supported by Shanghai Airport Authority , Shanghai Hongqiao Central Business District and Civil Aircraft Operation Support Technology Sub-committee of CSAA, organized by Galleon (Shanghai) Consulting Co., Ltd. The forum will mainly focus on Industry New Policies Guidance, 5G and Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Mining and Internet of Things, Innovation Infrastructure, Business Automation and Personalized Service, Energy Conservation and Efficient, Passenger Satisfaction Enhancement

Register your interest or get in touch with LUCY for more details.

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