Emirates is planning to use iris and facial recognition so that passengers can walk straight through the airport and onto the plane without the need to stop for check-in.
The airline is developing a ‘biometric path', which will scan passengers' face and iris as they pass through check-in, immigration control, lounge entry and boarding. The technology is intended to create a smooth and seamless journey for passengers.
The technology is undergoing testing at Dubai Airport Terminal 3, the hub for Emirates. Biometric scanners have been installed at selected check-in counters and boarding gates, and the Emirates Lounge in concourse B.
Testing is already underway for a seamless passport control system - the ‘Smart Tunnel' project with General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA). This system will automatically scan and clear travellers as they pass through the tunnel instead of stopping for immigration and passport checks.
Emirates plans to install biometric scanners at other points across the airport, once internal testing is complete. Other points that will gain biometric controls include transit gates and check-in for Emirates chauffeur service.
The airline said that biometric tracking of customers will reduce queues, and will also allow it to offer more personalised services, and develop other functions such as tracking and locating lost passengers or passengers who are late for flights.
All biometric data will be stored with GDRFA, and customers invited to participate in the trials will be asked for their consent.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates' executive vice president and chief operations officer said: "After extensive research and evaluation of numerous technologies and new approaches to enhance our passenger journey, we are now satisfied with the preliminary work we have carried out and are ready to commence live trials of the world's first biometric path at Emirates Terminal 3.
"All systems will eventually be linked with each other resulting in better service to our customers and a happier journey whether arriving, departing or transiting in Dubai. We will soon invite customers to participate in the trials for our biometric path, and we look forward to their feedback."
Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri, Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) said: "We are pleased to roll-out these new initiatives at Terminal 3 in collaboration with Emirates and our airport stakeholders.