Orlando International Airport (MCO) will be the first airport in the country to require passengers to scan their faces upon arriving and departing on international flights, including U.S. citizens.

The move was imposed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

Although several airports including Chicago (ORD), Las Vegas (LAS), Houston (IAH and HOU), Atlanta (ATL), San Diego (SAN), New York (JFK), and Washington (IAD) have already implemented the Customs and Border Protection face scan system for a number of international departure flights, MCO's system will include all international travelers.

About The Technology

The face scan is used to verify a person's identity by comparing it with Homeland Security's biometric database, which contains passport images of people who should be on the flight.

John Wagner, from the Office of Field Operations within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said that the face scan system replaces the passenger's need to provide any documentation. Since it is tokenless, all they need to do is walk up the scanner and allow it to take their picture. The gate will open and allow them to board the plane.

The goal of the facial recognition technology is to get people on and off the aircraft at a faster time using the same level of security. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the verification will only take less than 2 seconds and is 99 percent accurate. Data is also deleted every two weeks.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said that the implementation of the new biometric entry-exit system is a critical turning point and the department considers it as a path that is going to change the way people travel.

He added that the CBP is committed to delivering a world-class travel experience to the travelers of Orlando International Airport.

Phil Brown, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO, also said that incorporating the new technology into both the entry and exit processes will optimize security, safety, and speed so that people can enjoy a more effective and comfortable experience in the busiest airport in Florida.

Reports say that passengers who had their photos taken at the airport were fine with the scanner.

Denmark resident Katrina Poulsen, who arrived in the airport on a flight from London, said that the system was very efficient and fast.

The face scans are set to be fully in place by the end of the year. MCO is the busiest airport in Florida and served roughly six million people in the past year alone.