“Your face will be your passport and boarding pass, there will be no fumbling for passports,” Sydney Airport’s CEO Geoff Culbert said upon the announcement that Sydney Airport will be introducing a trail run of using facial recognition technology for check-in and boarding beginning in May 2018 at the largest Australian airport.
Although one’s face-as-passport may be slightly misleading, passengers will still need to bring their travel document along with them. The facial recognition technology will allow passengers traveling with Quantas who want to be part of the trial to pass through the six steps of check in, bag drop, border processing, security screening, airport lounge and boarding gate after showing their passport only once for verification.
The facial recognition will be used for passengers who want to check in through their smart phones, and offer an ease of movement through the various checkpoints. “It will make the travel process so much easier for customers,” Mr Culbert said. “You can check in for your flight at home on the couch using facial-recognition technology using your smartphone.”
If successful, the airport plans on expanding the technology to other airlines.
The biometric technology will likely be provided by Vision-Box, which has long been a key partner of the Australian government’s in the area of biometric airport solutions. Passengers who want to be part of the trial must register with the Australian Border Force in May.
Contactless technologies have been implemented in borders in the past, as is the case with the Biometric Exit program in U.S. airports, and the Australian trial run stands to serve as a trend-setter for international air travel.
(Sources: Sydney Morning Herald, Xinhua)
February 23, 2018 – Susan Stover