Smart Tunnel: Emirates unveils integrated “biometric path”

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Smart Tunnel

Emirates has announced the launch of the world’s first “biometric path”, which offers its customers a smooth and seamless airport journey.

Making a debut at the airline’s hub, the carrier will utilise the latest biometric technology with a mix of facial and iris recognition. Through this innovation, Emirates passengers can check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates Lounge, and board their flights — simply by strolling through the airport.

The latest biometric equipment was launched on 10 October and has already been installed at Emirates Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport. It can be found at select check-in counters, at the Emirates Lounge in Concourse B for premium passengers, and at select boarding gates.

“We are ready to commence live trials of the world’s first biometric path”

Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ executive vice president and COO, said: “After extensive research and evaluation of numerous technologies and new approaches to enhance our passenger journey, we are now satisfied with the preliminary work we have carried out and are ready to commence live trials of the world’s first biometric path at Emirates Terminal 3.”

Smart Tunnel

The biometric path is called the Smart Tunnel, a project by the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) in collaboration with Emirates. It is a world-first for passport control — where passengers simply walk through a tunnel and are “cleared” by immigration authorities without human intervention or the need for a physical passport stamp.

Once its internal tests are completed, Emirates will shortly launch trials for biometric processing at the other key customer points at the airport – check-in, lounge, and boarding gate – and subsequently at transit counters/gates, and for its chauffeur drive services.

All biometric data will be stored with GDRFA, and customers invited to participate in the trials will be asked for their consent.

“The unique and collaborative nature of innovation at Dubai airport”

Al Redha added: “These groundbreaking initiatives are a result of close collaboration with our stakeholders — particularly GDRFA who have been instrumental in the programme to bring the biometric path to fruition.

“The recent launch of the Smart Tunnel trial by GDRFA is a great achievement and clearly demonstrates the unique and collaborative nature of innovation at Dubai airport. All systems will eventually be linked with each other resulting in better service to our customers and a happier journey whether arriving, departing or transiting in Dubai.”
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