Singapore Changi Airport (SIN), which is holding the title of the best airport in the world for the last six years, is now looking into the applications of facial recognition to improve passenger experience. It could soon use the technology to find lost passengers who failed to answer the boarding call, Reuters reports.

Passengers missing the opening of a gate or taking their time in duty free boutiques is more than a rare occurrence. It can either lead to a plane being delayed, or a passenger missing its flight. In order to cope with this phenomenon, Singapore Changi Airport sees facial recognition as a solution. After scanning the passenger’s face during check-in, the airport would be able to notify stray passengers, either with a custom voice announcement or a smartphone notification.

Face recognition is already used for checking in at the brand new Terminal 4 of Changi Airport. This highly automated terminal was opened on October 31, 2017. Baggage and passports are linked to their owner using their biometrics during luggage dropout. Passengers can then go through security checkpoints using their face ID. The last scan happens during boarding operation.

The same technology will probably be applied in the next project of Singapore Changi International airport: Jewel Changi Airport. This mixed-use terminal should greatly improve Changi’s capacity, while hosting attractions such as the highest indoor waterfall in the world (40m). The inauguration is expected for 2019.


The face recognition project of Changi Airport is part of a larger “Smart Nation” initiative. Indeed a month ago, Singapore government announced it would add a facial recognition software to its CCTV system which could be used for “crowd monitoring”. That plan received some criticism from citizens concerned that their privacy could be threatened.