Dubai: Of the 50.5 million passengers who passed through Dubai International Airport last year, 12.3 million used the smart gates and the biometric tunnel, registering an increase of 7.4 per cent over the 11.2 million passengers in 2018, a top GDRFA Dubai official told Gulf News on an exclusive tour of the tunnel at Terminal 3 this week.
All that the visibly-amazed passengers had to do to complete their passport control formalities was to show their faces as they walked through the tunnel in a few seconds.
Lt Colonel Walid Ahmad Saeed, Assistant Deputy Director of Airport Services at GDRFA-Dubai, said that smart tunnel and gates was a glimpse of the future of smart travelling.
“Using facial recognition technology in the tunnel allowed the traveler to complete the necessary procedures without the need for human intervention. It is first of its kind in the world,” Lt Col Saeed said.
Currently, passengers at Terminal 3 show their passports and IDs at check-in but can complete their passport control without the need for these documents, until they reach the gates. Soon, this entire journey will be a walk-through.
Smart passenger journey
GDRFA will be using innovative ways to facilitate a traveler’s arrival to the country through the “smart passenger journey”.
“The new idea will use facial recognition technology, so pre-screened passengers will no longer need to show passports or boarding passes from the check-in counter before going to the aircraft. It is a seamless airport journey in Dubai,” he added.
According to GDRFA, a pilot phase of this technology which uses a mix of facial and iris recognition will be launched in March this year.
“The traveller can walk through the terminal to the airplane just by showing his or her face,” Lt Col Saeed said.
Test runs allowed passengers to check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates lounge and board flights, simply by strolling through the airport.
Major Salem bin Ali, director of Amer Clients Happiness at GDRFA, said they are ready to welcome millions of passengers who will attend EXPO 2020 by developing their passport control systems to ensure a smooth sail.
“When travelers come to the No. 1 airport in the world, they have to see something different with high tech. The gates and tunnel designed only for Dubai airport give a unique impression to passengers both on arrival and departure. We are ready for EXPO 2020 Dubai,” said Maj Bin Ali.
12.3 million travelers used the smart gates and tunnel