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Airports Council International – North America has asked the government – and not the airlines – to collect data to establish biometric exit procedures at all U.S. air and sea ports of departure.

The request comes after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s announcement April 22 about a notice of proposed rulemaking for the program.

“ACI-NA recognizes the need for an accurate biometric exit system and fully supports its implementation at air, sea and land points of departure,” said ACI-NA President Greg Principato. “However, airlines should not be required to collect this information, as it is an inherently governmental function and it should be appropriately funded to ensure its success.

“Additionally, to be most effective and efficient, the system must be integrated into the traveler’s normal departure process and implemented in full consultation with airports,” Principato said.
 
He adds that airports’ primary concern is for the security of airline passengers and others at the airport, but airport infrastructure must also be considered in designing the system. Biometric exit procedures must recognize existing space constraints and passenger flows at airports, as well as additional infrastructure demands, including information technology.  In order for the system to be successful, passengers must also know where the information has to be provided. If there is no consistency on where the data is collected, it could cause confusion for travelers.    

ACI-NA says it will work with its members to file comments to ensure that the exit elements of US-VISIT enhance both U.S. security and the travel experience for passengers.