Canada Place Cruise Terminal to Use Facial Biometric Tech to Process Passengers

The Canada Place cruise terminal. Photo: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

The Port of Vancouver is set to be the first seaport in Canada to use facial biometric technology to process cruise passengers, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announced June 18.

The port authority is working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to launch the technology at the Canada Place cruise terminal, allowing the terminal to completely automate document identity verification checks for cruise passengers needing U.S. admission, including destinations to Alaska, according to the port.

“We’re excited to partner with U.S. authorities to implement this state-of-the-art passenger processing technology—which will help us provide a fast, secure and convenient experience for passengers embarking on a cruise,” Port Authority President and CEO Peter Xotta said. “Our ongoing partnerships with government and industry are crucial to enhancing … Canada Place cruise terminal and ensuring it can continue to meet growing demand while enhancing the experience of passengers.”

Using a new program by IT service management company Pangiam, each passenger’s photo is taken at boarding and compared within seconds to the pre-trip travel documentation photo, the port said.

“Our approach uses state-of-the-art computer vision and AI to capture accurate facial recognition in real time, and instantly transmits to secure biometric matching services, ensuring immediate passenger identity verification,” said Kevin McAleenan, president of Pangiam parent company

McAleenan is a former acting secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security and former U.S. Customs commissioner.

About 20 U.S. cruise terminals already employ similar technology for passengers returning to the States. Passengers who don’t want to go through the facial biometric process can let a Canada Place representative know when they enter the primary inspection point and can go through a manual inspection, the port said.

By Karen Robes Meeks