Air Canada piloting facial recognition option for flight boarding at YVR

To shared

Travellers on some flights departing from Vancouver International Airport will have the option of using facial recognition technology to verify their identity and board their flights.

Air Canada announced the launch of a pilot project Tuesday, touting it as the first of its kind for a Canadian airline.

The option will only be available on “select flights” leaving YVR for Winnipeg and passengers on those flights will receive an invitation to voluntarily participate in the pilot.

“Many of our customers already utilize digital credentials to simplify their daily activities such as unlocking mobile phones, entering workplaces, verifying identification during financial transactions and more,´ said Craig Landry, Air Canada’s executive vice president and chief operations officer.

“We are very excited to now take a leadership position in Canada and test digital identification using facial recognition technology to validate customer identification quickly, securely and accurately.”

A video detailing the process explains that participants will scan and upload their passport’s photo and chip information to a digital profile along with a selfie. That will create, according to the airline, a “secure digital faceprint.”

Once at the airport, they can pass through a scanner without producing a boarding pass or ID.

Federal Transportation Minister, Omar Alghabra, said in the statement that he is confident passengers’ privacy rights will be protected.

“This project has great potential in making gate boarding easier and faster for Canadian passengers, while maintaining strong safety measures,” he wrote.

The facial recognition digital identification option will also be available for people utilizing the Air Canada Café at Toronto’s airport.

To shared