Biometric Passport Control Expands at Ben Gurion

YERUSHALAYIM -
Minister of the Interior Silvan Shalom tries out the biometric passport control machines at Ben Gurion International Airport on Wednesday. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
Minister of the Interior Silvan Shalom tries out the biometric passport control machines at Ben Gurion International Airport on Wednesday. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

A biometric Passport Control system that promises a faster, easier entry and departure at Ben-Gurion airport was expanded on Wednesday, according to media reports.

17 new stations were added to the existing four, part of a pilot program that was judged to be a success. The system allows travelers to bypass long lines at Passport Control, using facial recognition technology.

A survey conducted by the Central Bureau for Population and Immigration Authority found that Israeli passengers overwhelmingly approved of the hi-tech installation, some 86% saying they were pleased with the shorter wait time and the process in general.

Several of the stations are optimized for children, the disabled, and the short, according to the news agency.

Interior Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud), who was on hand for the installation Wednesday, declared that it “puts us on par with international service providers.”

“This is another step in our project to promote improved service to the public,” Immigration Authority CEO Amnon Ben-Ami stated Wednesday. “The stations prove themselves every day, both with the Israeli public and with tourists.”

It is part of the implementation of the Biometric Database Law, which mandates the collection of fingerprints and facial contours from all Israeli residents for integration in domestic ID cards and national passports.