Shannon is first European airport to install facial biometrics for US preclearance

Shannon Airport in the Republic of Ireland has become the first airport in Europe to have facial recognition technology introduced for US preclearance.

Commenting on the installation of this service, Niall Maloney, operations director at Shannon Airport said: “Being the first airport in Europe to have this ground-breaking technology installed reaffirms Shannon’s status in transatlantic aviation.”

In 2016 the airport also celebrated being the first airport in the world to operate a combined EU and US TSA (Transport Security Administration) checkpoint system, which halved the time spent in security screening at other preclearance airports.

“We were the first to get preclearance and now we’re the first to pilot this technology,” added Maloney. “Ultimately the big gain here is that this is the latest enhancement to passenger services at Shannon. We’re coming to the end of our busiest summer season on transatlantic service since the early part of the last decade and anything that speeds up queues and enhances security is a major plus.”

The introduction of the new biometric technology in recent months has seen Shannon become the first airport outside the Americas to use facial recognition solutions to verify the identity of travellers about to enter the US. It has been successfully implemented in several US airports and was also extended to Aruba Airport in the Caribbean. The installation of facial biometrics will help speed up the passengers’ journey through the airport and ensure shorter security screening times than at other airports.

Shannon’s airport managing director, Andrew Murphy said: “We are delighted that US Customs and Border Protection has selected Shannon for this pilot. We’ve had an excellent working relationship with them since Shannon, in 2009, became the first airport outside the Americas to have US preclearance.

“This means we have the most efficient and reliable systems in place for passenger screening for the US. That’s good for security but also very good for the passenger.”

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