A new innovation in airport security just came to Nashville last week, and it may be part of the future of post-pandemic travel.
According to USA Today, Nashville International Airport is now home to several Clear kiosks, biometric identity scanners that use either eye or finger scans in order to pull up a passenger’s information instead of waiting in a security line.
The new scanners have been popping up in airports for the last few years, but the advent of the coronavirus pandemic makes their implementation seem all the more necessary. The spread of viruses and bacteria can be most likely stopped by largely eliminating the need to touch surfaces before getting on the plane.
“Touchless travel is really the future,” said Mitch Nadler, Clear’s vice president of airport affairs, to USA Today. “Security and trust are paramount for us. We’ve built a brand over the past 10 years that customers trust. We do not sell or share customer data and we received the highest levels of certification in security that we can achieve.”
The speedy security scanners have already made an appearance at several U.S. airports, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Denver International Airport, McCarran International Airport, and John F. Kennedy International Airport, among others. It’s also used in stadiums and other entertainment venues, USA Today reported.
“It’s like the James Bond movies,” airport CEO Doug Kreulen told USA Today. “As we get through the pandemic, everything’s going to touchless so we don’t have to exchange maybe contaminated documents. Clear is one of those options that people have. It’s a neat option.”
According to USA Today, many passengers are opting for eye scans in order to completely bypass the need to touch anything. And with passenger traffic down 60 percent, according to USA Today, it is the perfect time to test out the new technology and see how it can improve passenger experience after the pandemic.
“Imagine when this airport is jammed full of people and you can just skip the line,” Clear Director of Operations Jeremy Langton said to USA Today. “We focus on expediting passengers and making this part of the process touchless.”
Passengers who use Clear can also upload their health information, including lab test results, to easily access during their trip, USA Today reported. Although the technology is handy, it’s also only accessible to those who pay for the service at the moment. Passengers pay $179 per year in order to use the kiosks if they are available at their nearest airports, according to USA Today.