Sacramento International Airport (SMF) Deploys Facial Biometric Boarding for International Departures

March 3, 2023
The integration of this technology is part of the airport's ongoing commitment to implementing innovative solutions that make traveling easier and more convenient for passengers.

Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is deploying Amadeus Facial Biometrics technology at select boarding gates. This state-of-the-art technology will revolutionize the process of verifying traveler identities by comparing live photos to the traveler’s existing passport or visa photo in secure U.S. Department of Homeland Security systems. As a result, the safety and security of passengers and airport employees will be enhanced, while the screening process will become more efficient. The facial biometrics process is voluntary for U.S. citizens.

It is important to note that initially, the Amadeus Facial Biometrics technology will be deployed only for international flights. The integration of this technology is part of SMF's ongoing commitment to implementing innovative solutions that make traveling easier and more convenient for passengers. The implementation of biometric screening will save time and reduce stress for travelers, as well as provide a secure, touchless departures process for identity verification.

Travelers who wish to opt out of the new biometric process may notify an airline official or a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer as they approach the departure gate. These travelers will be required to present a valid travel document for inspection by the gate agent and they will be processed consistent with existing requirements for departure from the United States.

Cindy Nichol, director of Sacramento County Department of Airports, shared her excitement regarding the deployment of this technology, stating, “We are thrilled to join the ranks of other leading airports in implementing biometric technology. This technology will save time and reduce stress for our travelers, and will provide a secure, touchless departure process for identity verification.”

Betros Wakim, SVP Airport & Airline Operations Americas, Amadeus, said: “Sacramento joins other leading airports in the US that are harnessing the unique qualities of facial biometric verification to enhance the passenger experience. At Amadeus we are working with a growing number of airports and airlines to build biometric identity technology into different stages of the airport experience, from check-in to bag drop and also boarding. Where possible, we advocate for a cloud approach so different airlines can be easily integrated with an airport’s biometric infrastructure. Biometrics is poised to be one of the defining aviation trends of 2023.”

To ensure a seamless implementation, the airport’s management will work closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and its airline partners. The deployment of the biometric screening will be done in phases, with the first set of four gates already operational, and the remaining gates to be installed in the future.

“The deployment of Amadeus Facial Biometrics technology is just one of the many ways we are working to make your travel experience as smooth and convenient as possible,” said Nichol.