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Schiphol starts with new test for boarding with facial recognition

Schiphol starts with new test for boarding with facial recognition

Schiphol has started a new test in which travellers can have their faces scanned before boarding the plane. That’s what NU.nl reports. In 2017, a facial recognition test was also carried out. Then passengers could register and check in at the gate.

The trial is specific to travelers of airline Cathay Pacific and lasts the rest of the year. Participation in the trial is voluntary. After check-in it is possible to indicate if a passenger wants to participate. At a registration point in the departure hall, a viewpoint scan is carried out, as well as a scan of the passport and boarding pass. This means that registration will take place earlier than in the 2017 trial.

At the gate, passengers have to re-scan their faces. The advantage of this is that it is possible to board without showing your passport or boarding pass. The purpose of the test is to find out whether boarding in this way is fast, efficient and reliable enough to be offered as standard. However, no time gain is expected during the trial. Only when several parties use the system should it result in a better flow of traffic.


The biometric data shall be deleted after 24 hours after the enrolment. The data is stored in encrypted form in the Seamless Flow Platform, which is managed by Schiphol. The details on the passport and the photograph of the face are shared with the Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary. The boarding pass data are verified with the airlines to see if they have a valid ticket.

One or two gates are provided with the necessary sensors. The intention is to have as many Cathay Pacific flights as possible boarded from those gates. If not, the second part of the trial cannot take place. In a few months’ time, the airport is planning a trial to replace passport control with facial recognition after the baggage check.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.