Smart immigration tunnels at Dubai airport to go live this month

The tunnels can identify the passenger and perform ‘full body scan searches’



The first two ‘walk-through’ passport immigration tunnels are scheduled to go live at Dubai International’s Emirates Terminal 3 departures terminal from October 10, for first and business class passengers.

The tunnels are not enclosed and resemble a longer version of the e-gates, and come fitted with more than 80 hi-tech cameras. They can identify the passenger and perform ‘full body scan searches’.

Buti Ahmed Qurwash Rashed, vice president of Safety and Security at Dubai Aiports, said the technology will be introduced in arrivals at a later date.

The smart tunnels were first unveiled by Dubai Airports at the Gitex Technology Week event last year.

The system uses facial recognition to recognise passengers as they walk through a tunnel with no human intervention or passport stamping needed for the standard passenger.

Read: Airport ‘smart tunnels’ to speed up passport control

Dubai Airports is embracing ‘virtual borders’ and biometric technology in order to improve passenger flow amid rising volumes.

Smart gates that require just the scanning of a passenger’s passport or Emirates ID are currently available at Dubai International Airport.

Earlier this year, it was also reported that the UAE’s Ministry of Interior is planning to phase out immigration officers at airports by 2020 through the adoption of artificial intelligence systems.

The National cited ministry general inspector major general Dr Ahmed Al Raisi as confirming the plans that would be in place at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s $2.94bn Midfield Terminal, which is scheduled to open next year.

“We started with iris scan and face recognition and eventually, we won’t need any immigration officers at all,” he was quoted as saying.

“People will just be able to walk through and they’ll be scanned. We’re planning to totally eliminate the presence of officers by 2020 hopefully and it will be fully deployed in all the country.”