Pictures: Smart tunnels launched at Dubai International Airport

The project is now in its pilot phase and available for use by passengers



Dubai International Airport on Wednesday began a smart tunnel pilot project intended to speed up travel time through immigration.

The tunnel, at the airport’s Terminal 3, uses a biometric recognition system to recognise passengers as they walk through. This allows immigration checks to be completed in just 15 seconds, according to officials.

The project was first unveiled in October 2017 but took four years of work.

Read: Smart immigration tunnels at Dubai airport to go live this month

A Dubai Media Office video showed the tunnel in acton. It is open to any first and business class passengers able to use the airport’s existing smart gates, which are available to certain registered passport holders and UAE citizens and residents, but users will need to have their passport verified the first time they go through.

The gate system, combining facial recognition, artificial intelligence and machine learning, is eventually intended to replace traditional passport control

Should the pilot prove successful, the technology will be fully launched.

Earlier this year, it was 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.

Read: UAE plans to phase out airport immigration officers by 2020