Charles de Gaulle airport
The Charles de Gaulle airport at Paris Getty Images

Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport has started testing facial recognition for security check-ins to speed passengers through immigration.

Post the horrific terror attacks in Paris in 2015 and Nice in 2016, tighter security measures required computer records of every passenger passing border control in France. This lengthened the waiting time of passengers by as much as an extra hour to get through controls.

"We had to do something to address this," says Augustin de Romanet, CEO of ADP, which operates airports in Paris.

The management at the airport is now using a software from a company called Vision-Box that will check a passenger's passport image against his or her face. Only passport holders of EU countries can avail this speedy option at the moment.

Right now, speedy passage is available at Charles de Gaulle through Parafe, an automated system for French citizens that scans their biometric passports and fingerprints. But only 3% of people passing through the airport use this even though it has been in operation since 2009. If the current trials go well France may broaden the usage of facial recognition and the number of people using this biometric option could climb to as much as 20% of the estimated 180,000 people passing through daily.

In January, the Australian government also announced its plans to automate 90% of air traveller processing with no human involvement by 2020. These technologies are being rapidly considered by congested airports worldwide to speed passengers through airports.