Changi Airport To Introduce Biometric Verification For Departing Travellers, No Need To Show Passports

Biometric Verification To Be Available To Travellers Flying From Changi Airport In Late 2022

As more people resume travelling now that measures have eased, many are surely expecting greater convenience on their trips. Good news for those flying from Changi Airport as they can soon use biometric verification systems.

Sometime in late 2022, Changi Airport will be rolling out biometric verification for departing travellers, which means that they will no longer need to present passports or boarding passes.

Senior Minister (SM) Teo Chee Hean announced the initiative at the Changi Aviation Summit Fireside Chat on Tuesday (17 May).

Safety comes first in post-pandemic times

In his speech, SM Teo highlighted that even as the travel industry recovers after two years of pandemic-induced disruptions, new safety risks have emerged. This includes the upkeep of aircraft that have been kept in storage, as well as the competencies of air traffic controllers and pilots.

In line with that, Singapore introduced the National Safety Aviation Plan to ensure the safety of air travel.

The Plan outlines 50 action items that Singapore’s aviation sector will focus on in the next three years in terms of five key areas:

  • Operational safety
  • Policies and rules
  • Safety management
  • Data and digitalisation
  • Regional and global aviation safety

Room for improvement in service levels of aviation sector

SM Teo also said the aviation sector must take steps to improve its service standards and “transform customer experience”.

In this regard, technology and digitalisation are key.

While airlines work to improve their service levels, analytics can help improve planning and finetune operations for smoother passenger flow.

SM Teo mentioned the need to increase the use of IT systems, strengthen cybersecurity, and protect customer data, as “any system is only as secure as the weakest link”.

Since airlines and airports are interdependent, they must have a “collective responsibility” towards cybersecurity in all systems.

Use of biometrics to enhance customer experience

In line with improving services and IT systems, Singapore is working on enabling passengers to only present their biometrics for verification at various departure touchpoints.

This will not only enhance the user experience but also form part of the new precautions necessary for safe flying.

However, this isn’t the first time the use of facial and iris biometrics for immigration clearance has surfaced in the news. The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) had announced similar efforts nearly two years ago.

As the biometric system identifies travellers by their facial features, there’s no need for physical travel documents and fingerprint scanning.

Passengers who are wearing face masks will need to remove their mask briefly for this system to work.

According to The Straits Times (ST), ICA aims to make automated clearance the norm for all travellers from 2023.

More breezy travels in the future

Without the need to present physical documents, we can expect immigration clearance to be a lot breezier once biometric systems are in place.

After the headache of making travel plans and packing, travellers will surely appreciate the convenience.

Here’s looking forward to much smoother travels in the future.

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Featured image adapted from Changi Airport Group.

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