A new type of technology is being trialled at Amsterdam Airport that uses your face to identify you, potentially preventing cases of identity fraud and perhaps even spelling the end of airport queues.

Airports are basically just there to make you wait. You wait to check into your flight. Then you wait to pass through security. Then customs. Then to board your flight. Then to get off the plane. Then to go through customs – again.

Thankfully they’re also portals to other cities and destinations in time and space, so that makes it just about bearable.

But what if it was possible to eliminate some of this waiting, and generally just speed up the process of getting from a to b?

Well, the Dutch are currently testing a new piece of technology that promises to deliver just that. Facial recognition technology is a form of biometric testing that uses the structure and size of your face to verify your identity, and it may soon become standard across airports around the world.


For the moment, you’ll only find it being tested at a small number of airports, such as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. In partnership with KLM, the Dutch have been busily testing the new technology to see whether it can be practically implemented in airports worldwide. This includes making sure the tech is fast, reliable and user-friendly.

Passengers who wish to take part in the trial need first to register with the system, which includes having their face, passport and boarding pass scanned. Once this information has been entered into the system, the passenger only needs to present their face for a further scan at the gate to be allowed through. Then, once the passenger flies, all their information is deleted from the system.


If you fancy taking part in the trial, you’ll need to be head over to Amsterdam in the next three months. A special registration kiosk has been added in the waiting area near the gate, and KLM staff are expected to be on hand to help guide passengers through the process.


The trial is part of the airport’s mission to be the leading digital airport in the world by 2018.

If the technology proves viable, passengers will no longer have to fumble around for their passports when passing through border controls, and it may even be an effective defence against identity fraud and all the security concerns that come with it.

But the technology is still in its infancy, so we’ll just have to wait and see – and then wait, and wait some more.

Do you think this new form of technology will deliver on its promises?