Cathay Pacific: Travel with facial recognition – pilot

Schiphol and Cathay Pacific are running a pilot project at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in 2019, which involves crossing the border and boarding a flight using facial recognition technology. Project participants will no longer have to show their passport and boarding pass at Passport Control, or at the gates. Instead, they will cross the border and board their flights through a separate gate which will identify them using facial recognition. The pilot project is part of a series of tests designed to make travel with facial recognition a reality at Schiphol.

How boarding works with facial recognition

  1. You may be asked whether or not you would like to participate in the pilot project when you check in. If you agree, a member of staff will accompany you to the special registration kiosks in Departures. You will scan your passport, boarding pass and face at the kiosk, then proceed through Security Control as usual.
  2. After Security Control, you will reach Passport Control. You simply walk to the special gate for travelling with facial recognition, recognisable by the banner with the icon. The in-built camera in the gate will scan your face and compare the scan to the one that was taken at the registration kiosk. If your face is recognised, the gate will open, and you will be able to proceed to the departure lounge.
  3. Once at your gate and you are called to board, simply use the gate on the right-hand side, which has facial recognition. The camera will scan your face here as well. If your face is recognised, the gate will open and you will be able to board the aircraft.

Who can take part in the pilot

Participation is voluntary in the pilot project. You are eligible to take part if you: - are travelling with Cathay Pacific
- are aged 16 or over
- have been issued a biometric passport, recognisable by the chip icon on the front.

Why we are conducting this pilot project

We would like to make your journey through Schiphol simpler through using various innovations. You still currently need to show your passport, boarding pass or both at the various checkpoints within the airport. For example, when you drop off your baggage, during security checks, when you cross the border and during boarding. In the future, you will be able to pass through these checkpoints more smoothly thanks to facial recognition. That means your passport and boarding pass can remain safely stowed in your bags.

Airlines, the government and Schiphol are working together to enable this new way of travelling possible in future. That is why we are carrying out extensive testing first.

Your privacy

Your privacy is a major concern for us. Naturally, we will treat your personal details with the utmost confidentiality.

About this pilot project

The registration kiosk will scan your face so that you can cross the border and board with facial recognition on your journey.

The pilot project on travelling with facial recognition consists of 3 steps:

  1. Once in Departures, you will need to register at the registration kiosk. At Security Control, you can then use the gate for premium passengers.
  2. At Passport Control, use the separate gate for travelling with facial recognition, recognisable by the banner and kiosk with the icon for facial recognition. An employee will show you the way if necessary.
  3. At the gate, use the row specifically intended for boarding with facial recognition. Once again, you can recognise this row by the banner and kiosk with the icon for facial recognition.

Your personal information

If you take part in this pilot project, you give permission to process your passport data, boarding pass data and face scan. Your data will only be processed for the purpose of your participation in this pilot project. All biometric data will be automatically deleted 24-hours after your face was scanned at the registration kiosk.

All partners

The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, Cathay Pacific and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol are working together on this pilot project. This is taking place in accordance with the relevant legislation and regulations and on the basis of detailed agreements in areas such as privacy and security.

Further information

If you have any questions, please email If you have participated in the pilot project, you can also use this email address to let us know about your experience. We would appreciate that very much.