16:20 PM

TPA adds more touchless tech with new electronic gates

Tampa International Airport is helping make the passenger experience smoother – and even more touch-free.

Earlier this month, TPA unveiled the second of four banks of electronic gates that will help the Airport manage passengers heading to each airside. The E-gates, as they are known, allow ticketed passengers and cleared guests to gain access to the airside shuttle, replacing the current system that requires manual scanning.

The process is simple: Passengers simply scan their boarding pass and the gates swing open. If they are at the wrong gate, they will receive an error message.

E-gates allow TPA to go from two to four boarding pass scanning devices per airside, helping to speed up the process and making it faster for guests to get to their gate.

“This is a significant step in our efforts to go touchless and make the passenger experience better and faster than ever before,” said Doug Wycoff, TPA’s Senior Manager of Client and Field Services. “We know that this kind of technology – especially during a time of heightened concern over cleanliness – is critically important.”

The technology debuted at the shuttle entrance to Airside A in mid-July and at Airside C in early August. Wycoff says to expect the screening gates at Airside E and F this November. So far, the Airside A gates have processed about 85,000 passengers and employees while the Airside C gates have handled 40,000.

Aside from facilitating social distancing, the E-gates enhance security and give the Airport additional insights about the travel experience through TPA and how to make it more efficient. The screening can help identify peak usage time, for example, allowing the airport to ramp up staff appropriately.

Additionally, this technology can easily be repurposed for the future, Wycoff said.

“We know that facial recognition and biometrics is gaining steam in the United States and this technology can be easily converted to facilitate that effort,” he said. “We are proud to continue to lead the industry with forward-thinking technology to ensure the smoothest and most seamless experience for passengers.”