Miami International Airport has opened the first US passport clearance facility with facial recognition.
Officials from the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate Miami International Airport’s newly renovated Concourse E federal inspection facility for international arrivals.
The facility is the first in the country completely dedicated to providing expedited passport screening via facial recognition. The new technology verifies a travellers’ identity by matching a traveler to the document they are presenting.
“Miami International Airport, in partnership with CBP, has introduced yet another cutting-edge enhancement that improves the international arrival experience for visitors to our community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Congratulations to the Miami-Dade Aviation Department and our federal partners for continuing to simplify passport screening at Florida’sbusiest international gateway.”
Since launching the facial recognition pilot program in November, the Concourse E facility has been screening as many as 10 passengers per minute. In addition to providing the latest in expedited passport screening technology, the new facility reduces the walking distance for Concourse E and F passengers who previously only had access to the Concourse D passport hall – decongesting one of the country’s busiest arrivals facilities in the process as well.
“Aside from welcoming 96 percent of all visitors to Miami, our airport also welcomes 70 percent of international passengers to Florida,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, Chairperson of the County’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee. “With improvements like the new Concourse E passport clearance facility, MIA continues to deliver on its commitment to providing a world-class experience for travelers.”
The Concourse E facility follows another industry-leading innovation launched by MIA in 2017. Last August, MIA launched an update to the MIA Airport Official app that allows users to seamlessly access Mobile Passport Control and CBP Forms without ever leaving the app, the first airport in the world authorized by CBP to do so.
“Improving customer service through technology and innovation is our highest priority at MIA,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Lester Sola. “We are proud to partner with CBP on this new technology, which has significantly reduced wait times for our international passengers.”
The re-designed, all-technology driven facility also offers passport clearance via Global Entry kiosks and the Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app for select flights arriving at concourses E and F.
“CBP’s core mission is to safeguard America’s borders,” said CBP Executive Assistant Commissioner Todd Owen. “We must balance our need to increase security while still expediting travel. Passenger volumes are on the rise here at the Miami International Airport. In order to meet the growing challenge of balancing traveler volumes and security, CBP has partnered with industry stakeholders to leverage biometric technology and systems.”