The biometric equipment is being tested at the Emirates Business Class check-in area, Terminal 3, Dubai airport. Image Credit: Emirates

Dubai: Checking in and boarding into a plane will soon be a breeze for some flyers travelling through Dubai.

UAE-based carrier Emirates announced on Monday that it will soon be using facial and iris recognition for flights at the Dubai International Airport, reducing the need for queuing or document checks prior to departure.

With the latest biometric technology, flyers can just check in for their flight, enter the airline’s lounge and board the plane simply by “strolling through” the airport, enabling travellers to save time from check-in to boarding.

The new facility, dubbed the “biometrics path,” will be introduced soon and it will complement the Smart Tunnel project of the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners in Dubai (GDRFA), which was unveiled last year in collaboration with Emirates.

The airline said it has already acquired the biometric equipment and installed it at Emirates Terminal 3 in Dubai International Airport.


Emirates' biometric equipment is being tested at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport.

It can be found at select check-in counters at the carrier’s lounge in Concourse B for premium passengers and at select boarding gates, but internal tests are still being conducted.

It is not clear yet when flyers at Dubai airport will start using the biometrics facility, but the airline's spokesperson said it will announce customer trials soon.

Dubai witnessed last year the unveiling of the world’s first passport control facility that seeks to speed up the movement of passengers at the airport, enabling them to simply walk through a tunnel and get immigration clearance without human intervention or the need for a physical passport stamp.

Launched in October last year, the system utilizes iris and facial recognition technology. With the new facility, a passenger takes just a few seconds to complete the immigration clearance process.

Trials for the use of the tunnel was launched on October 10.

"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," a statement from the airline states.

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

Emirates said that both facilities, the airport’s smart tunnel and the airline’s check-in/boarding biometric facility, will eventually be linked with each other.