Emirates Airline is preparing to launch the world’s first “biometric path” to offer more seamless travel for passengers at the airline’s hub at Dubai International airport (DXB).

Utilizing the latest biometric technology—a mix of facial and iris recognition—Emirates passengers can soon check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates lounge and board flights just by strolling through the airport.

The latest biometric equipment has already been installed at DXB’s Emirates Terminal 3. This equipment can be found at select check-in counters, at the Emirates lounge in Concourse B for premium passengers, and at select boarding gates. Areas where biometric equipment are installed will be clearly marked.

Trials for the Smart Tunnel, in which immigration authorities can “clear” passengers without human intervention or the need for a physical passport stamp, was launched Oct. 10. The project is a collaboration between Emirates and the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA).

Once internal tests are completed, Emirates said it will launch trials for biometric processing at the other key customer points at the airport—check-in, lounge and boarding gates—and subsequently at transit counters/gates, and for chauffeur services. All biometric data will be stored with GDRFA.

Initially focused on first- and business-class passengers, Emirates said it intends to speedily extend the “biometric path” to economy class travelers at DXB, and in the future potentially to other airports outside of Dubai, and also for its own dedicated crew check-in facility.

Kurt Hofmann hofmann.aviation@netway.at