Administrators at Singapore’s Changi Airport are ramping up their biometric operations. The airport first enabled biometric passenger screening in Terminal 4 all the way back in 2017, and added more biometric immigration kiosks and touchless check-in kiosks as a safety measure in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As The Straits Times reports, the airport is now looking to make biometric screening the norm for everyone who passes through the airport. Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean has announced that the airport will soon be rolling out a new system that will support a completely paperless passenger journey. In plain terms, that means that people will be able to enter the airport and board their plane without needing to stop and show a boarding pass or a passport at any of the usual checkpoints.
Instead, the airport will use face and iris recognition to verify the identities of passengers at immigration, security, and boarding gates. Changi is planning to set up the new system before the end of the year, in the hopes that it will be able to offer automated screening for most travelers by the beginning of 2023.
The biometric screening service will be most immediately beneficial to Singapore citizens, insofar as they will already be registered with their national government. However, the country’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has indicated that automated screening will eventually be offered to foreign visitors, as well. In that regard, visitors who choose to register their biometric data on one trip will be able to take advantage of the expedited screening process whenever they return to the country.
Singapore will start offering biometric processing to foreign travelers in the second half of the year. Changi administrators are hoping that the utility will support a safer and more seamless passenger experience in the wake of the pandemic. The new system is part of a broader digital transformation effort that will also prioritize green airport initiatives.
Source: The Straits Times
May 23, 2022 – by Eric Weiss