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Flyers May Soon See Iris Scans, Socially Distanced Searches

  • ICAO guidelines win support from airline, airport trade groups
  • Measures are designed to help flying recover After Covid-19
A monitor displays a thermal camera image of travelers wearing protective face masks at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
A monitor displays a thermal camera image of travelers wearing protective face masks at Charles de Gaulle Airport.Photographer: Cyril Marcilhacy/Bloomberg
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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.