Facial recognition could be a part of airport screening within 5 years

Before taking a flight, travelers typically arrive at the airport two to three hours before takes-off so they have time to check-in and make their way through security checkpoints.

What could make for a faster process?

Aviation attorney Mark Dombroff told Yahoo Finance’s “On The Move” a facial recognition system could become a standard part of airport screening relatively.

“I think we should see it implemented,” he said. “Since the events of 9/11 aviation and airplane travel has become even more and more stressful. It’s stressful on the passenger, on the crew, on the ground personnel and everybody across the board.”

“I realize that there’s inherit tension between the privacy issue and most of them are related to the more traditional law enforcement area and the facial recognition area,” he added. “I would predict that within 5 years we’re going to have facial recognition as part of the airport security process.”

Crowd of people on railroad station lobby.
Crowd of people on railroad station lobby.

In what he calls “The Disruptive Passenger Situation,” Dombroff got a chance to elaborate on the instances of passengers becoming unruly due to high stress from security check-ins, delayed flights and any other traveling factor one can imagine. He discussed how a British airline once charged a disruptive passenger 105,000 euros and how a U.S. airline delayed a flight due to a disruptive passenger and later billed them $120,000.

What is the best way to satisfy travelers?

“Anything that can be done to reduce the stress is something that I would say travelers, particularity business travelers, would be in favor of,” Dombroff said.

Some airports are making incremental changes to satisfy passengers. One option we see now is TSA pre-check, which is a government response program. Dombroff went on to talk about Clear, an alternative screening process that gets passengers through TSA quicker. Like Clear, facial recognition would be implemented be a private company that would allow people the ability to be able to opt out of the program whenever needed.

But the ultimate goal is to reduce stress for its users.


Ralston Ramsay is a producer for Yahoo Finance’s On the Move.

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