Pearson and Billy Bishop airports will soon use NEXUS facial recognition technology

Oct 28 2019, 9:28 am

Toronto Pearson Airport and Billy Bishop Airport will soon be getting new NEXUS kiosks that utilize facial verification technology.

It is part of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) plan to modernize the way that NEXUS members are processed at airports in the country, the Traveller Programs Directorate said in a memo sent to members on Friday about the forthcoming changes.

The current kiosks use iris recognition technology, and these will be replaced with the updated kiosks that use facial recognition instead.

The Vancouver International Airport will be the first to launch the new technology this fall, although the agency has not specified an exact date. The technology will also be used at other Canadian airports in ensuing months, including here in Toronto.

Those airports are:

  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport
  • Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
  • Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
  • Calgary International Airport
  • Edmonton International Airport
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

NEXUS members will need their passport the first time they use one of the new facial biometric kiosks, says CBSA. Users will be prompted to upload their passport photo for storage and identification purposes.

CBSA says the biometric verification upgrades at airports will provide travellers with a simplified way to be identified — without a reduction in security.

“This initiative aligns the NEXUS program with international trends on traveller processing, and supports the CBSA’s goal to increase efficiencies without compromising security,” CBSA said in a statement.

The NEXUS program is designed to speed up border crossings for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the US, and is jointly run by the CBSA and US Customs & Border Protection.