Japan’s Narita International Airport is moving forward with plans to replace boarding passes with facial recognition technology. The operators have announced that a new system will be rolled out in the spring of 2020, and will allow passengers to board their planes without the need to show a boarding pass or a passport after they’ve checked in.
With the new system, passengers will have their photos taken at self check-in kiosks while entering their passports and boarding information. Once they complete the process, they will no longer need to show any physical documents as they proceed to the airport. Facial recognition cameras at baggage drop-off, security inspection, and boarding gates will track their progress and allow them to board their plane without any hassle.
Narita International Airport began trialing biometric eGates in 2018, and administrators are hoping to have the new technology in place before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The boarding scan does not extend to immigration control, although it’s worth noting that Narita operators have announced separate plans to use NEC facial recognition technology for customs procedures.
All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines will be the first carriers to utilize the new technology, which will be introduced to other airlines in stages. It is unclear if passengers will also be allowed to board via traditional, non-biometric methods once the new system is in place.
Source: The Japan Times
March 4, 2019 – by Eric Weiss