Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN) will start to offer passport-free clearance and processing to some passengers by 2024.
By the first half of 2024, biometrics will be used for authentication at various automated steps in the departure process, from bag-drop to immigration and boarding, Singapore’s communications minister Josephine Teo said in parliament on September 18, 2023.
“Singapore will be one of the first few countries in the world to introduce automated, passport-free immigration clearance,” Teo said.
Changi Airport already uses biometric technology, along with facial recognition software to some degree at immigration checkpoints. However, Teo said that the upcoming changes will “reduce the need for passengers to repeatedly present their travel documents at touch points and allow for more seamless and convenient processing.”
Teo also made it clear that passports are still required for travelers from countries outside of Singapore that do not offer passport-free processing.
Having been named the “Best Airport” for the 12th time in March 2023, SIN airport has won hundreds of awards for innovation, design and overall efficiency.
Facial recognition technology is already used in varying extents at the following airports: Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), Tokyo Narita (NRT), Tokyo Haneda (HND), Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), London-Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
Dubai International Airport (DXB) launched a biometric path in October 2022, where travelers simply need to walk through a tunnel that will catch their biometric data.