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Flyers May Soon See Iris Scans, Socially Distanced Searches

Travelers returning to flying after coronavirus lockdowns ease can expect a very different experience than before the pandemic hit.


The International Civil Aviation Organization has issued guidelines to regulators and operators on how to restart the global air-transport system. The group, a specialized agency of the United Nations, recommends more automation and touch-free equipment in airport bathrooms. Travelers may have to get used to electronic visa forms, dropping their baggage off with a facial or iris scan and being searched while facing away from border agents.


Addressing passengers’ safety concerns will be a vital step in ensuring the return to the skies that airlines are counting on to survive. Industry experts say the key will be coordinating efforts globally in order to avoid conflicting regulations that have followed previous travel stoppages, most notably after 9/11.


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