Paris Airports to Test Facial Recognition for Boarding and Baggage Drop

If you happen to be traveling through Paris next year, you may have a new way of boarding and dropping bags off at the airport.

Air France and Aéroports de Paris (Paris Airport Authority or ADP) are rolling out a biometric boarding pilot early next year at the city’s airports. The system will use facial recognition to help speed up boarding and baggage drop-offs. Air France will integrate biometrics in place of boarding cards at Paris Orly airport on three regular flights.

Data Will Be Destroyed After Plane Takes Flight

France’s privacy regulator CNIL had a few requirements for the pilot program before giving approval. The biometric system must only capture the faces of individuals using the system and not of any citizens passing in the background. Also, the database cannot be used for commercial purposes. According to the CNIL, the information collected will be destroyed once the plane takes off.

“The information collected (biometric data) will be destroyed after the aircraft takes off, which means that there will be no retention and that the passenger, who must give his consent, will be obliged to repeat the procedure at each pass at the airport,” said Clémence Scottez, head of the economic affairs department of the CNIL.

Biometric Boarding Tested in Airports Around the Globe

Paris isn’t the first place to try out biometric boarding. Airports in Brazil, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Atlanta have all experimented with the system. Paris has hopes to expand the program to have it encompass a complete journey.

“Our objective today is a biometrics scale in our Paris airports so that in 2024, 2025, it marks the end-to-end journey,” says an ADP spokesperson.

Check out our articles on facial recognition in China’s subways and a Russian company selling robot clones.