Biometric system at Malaga Airport

In 2024 it is planned to start testing facial recognition of passengers, also known as biometric system at Malaga airport, and the implementation of latest generation scanners.

This new technology will facilitate the stay of travellers by shortening access times to boarding areas. Everything you need to know, below.

What is the purpose of the biometric system at Malaga Airport?

Facial recognition systems make it possible to identify people unequivocally from an image of their face thanks to the uniqueness of their features.

  • The biometric system validates the passenger’s identity by means of their image, their identification documents (DNI/NIE/Passport) and their boarding pass.)
  • Once checked in, passengers can pass through the security filter or the boarding gate without having to show any document.

The Schengen area comprises 26 states in continental Europe. Within the area, there is no passport control or border controls.

biometric system at Malaga Airport
Credit Depositphotos

Schengen member states must have a biometric entry and exit system to register non-European citizens crossing an external EU border.

Among them are the British, who are the Spanish main outbound market. Since Brexit, passengers from the UK have to go through passport control, but their large influx (they account for 25% of all international passengers flying to Spain) has caused a certain amount of chaos, especially during the summer months.

This is why Aena believes that the implementation of the new biometric system can help streamline passport control and border control processes. Especially in a country like Spain with so much tourism from the UK.

How will the biometric system at Malaga Airport work?

biometric system at Malaga Airport
Facial recognition process. Photo El Diario

The registration process will have two parts.

  • First, the passenger registers his/her image and identification documents: his/her image (selfie), the image of his/her identification document (DNI/NIF/NIE/Passport). The personal data and image of the NFC chip of his/her identification document will be captured, in order to validate his/her identity and check the validity of his/her identification document.
  • Secondly, after obtaining the boarding pass, passengers must associate it with their biometric profile. This can be done in person at the enrolment station. Or automatically in the Aena APP once they have obtained their boarding pass from their airline.
biometric registration malaga airport
Enrolment station at Menorca airport

In order to capture your data, the APP will ask you to download and install a specific application for this process on your mobile phone. It is available in the APP Store and Google Play. This application, sponsored by Aena, does not store the data collected.

In this way, once the boarding card has been correctly registered, you do not have to show any identification document at the security checkpoint or at the boarding gate. However, it is necessary to carry your identification documents and boarding pass with you in case of any problems.

For the time being, this biometric identification service is voluntary for Schengen country passengers.

So, if you do not wish to use it, you can transit through the airport in the traditional way by presenting the corresponding documentation at each checkpoint established at each airport.

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