Changi Airport To Install New Safety Features For Safer, Contactless Travel

We all know that even after community cases fall to 0, and a vaccine is found, travel may never be the same again.

Whether it’s plastic screens between seats or fewer passengers on a plane, there’s bound to be some form of safe distancing in airports and airlines.

Moving forward, Singapore’s very own Changi Airport will be switching from its iconic green fingerprint scanners to facial and retinal scanners for passengers’ safety.

Image courtesy of Changi Airport Group 

This is just one of the new features they’ll be implementing to move towards having a safer, contactless check-in and immigration process.

Changi Airport contactless features include facial & retinal scanners

Instead of scanning their thumbs while going through immigration, passengers will be able to simply look at one of the multi-modal biometric systems, and pass through instead.

Image courtesy of Changi Airport Group 

The systems will scan their face and retinas, but passengers must have registered these with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) for them to work.

Fingerprint scanning will still be used for those who are unable to pass through with the biometric scan.

Self check-in kiosks across Terminals 1 and 3 will be upgraded with proximity touch screens. Users simply need to hover their finger over the screens and will not have to touch them, reducing the transmission of germs.

Image courtesy of Changi Airport Group 

The screens will still be disinfected regularly.

Acrylic screens at service desks

Over 400 acrylic screens will be installed at various service desks across the airport.

Image courtesy of Changi Airport Group 

These will help protect staff facing customers who may need help during immigration, check-in, customs, or even tax refunds.

‘Contactless’ toilets & lift buttons

Most toilets in Changi Airport are already ‘contactless’, as they have reduced the need to touch most surfaces like the flush button, taps and the main door.

Image courtesy of Changi Airport Group 

Moving forward, they will be upgrading all toilets to be ‘contactless’, too, by replacing doors and installing newer automatic taps and soap dispensers.

Image courtesy of Changi Airport Group 

Touch-free lift buttons are also being explored, to reduce the spread of germs. These are similar to the proximity touch screens that will be used for check-in.

Instead of pushing the button, users will simply hover their finger over it to ‘press’ it.

Cleaning robots & disinfecting UV light

Cleaning of the entire airport will be stepped up as well, mainly with the help of autonomous cleaning robots that vacuum, disinfect and clean carpets all at the same time.

Image courtesy of Changi Airport Group 

As for travellator and escalator handles, they’ll be disinfected with an Ultra-Violet (UV) light that sterilises surfaces when passed over them.

Commonly touched surfaces like door handles, counter tops and other handrails will be cleaned more frequently as well. Moreover, hand sanitiser dispensers will be available for passengers to use throughout the airport too.

The future of safe travel

Lots of changes are being made to the good old Changi Airport we all know and love, but they’re for the better.

Developing a safe method of travel is crucial if we want to move past this pandemic and prepare ourselves for any potential ones in the future.

This is what we need to adapt to if we want any chance of having fun weekend getaways, or even the occasional long overseas trip, at all.

Hopefully, the situation soon eases and more of us will be able to experience the new, ‘contactless’ way of travel too.

Also read:

SIA’s New Guidelines Include Care Kits & Disinfection, As We Travel Amid Covid-19

Featured image courtesy of Changi Airport Group.