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Friday, July 12, 2024

Singapore’s Changi Airport to Introduce Passport-Free Departures

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Singapore’s Changi International Airport, often hailed as the world’s best airport, is further improving its facilities by implementing automated immigration clearance starting next year.

According to CNN, officials at Singapore’s Changi Airport will introduce innovative technology that allows passengers to depart from the city-state without passports, by just using biometric data.

“This will reduce the need for passengers to repeatedly present their travel documents at these touchpoints, allowing for more seamless and convenient processing,” said Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information & Second Minister for Home Affairs, in a speech to parliament on Monday. 

However, passports will still be required for many countries outside of Singapore that do not offer passport-free clearance, Teo emphasized.

Biometric data, along with facial recognition is already being used to some extent in Changi Airport at automated lanes at immigration checkpoints. By next year, biometrics will be used to create a “single token of authentication”, that could be utilized at various automated touchpoints, including baggage check-ins, immigration clearance, and boarding.

Singapore’s Changi Airport sees more than 100 airlines that fly to 400 cities around the world. In 2023, the Airport handled over 4 million passenger movements every month and surpassed the 5 million mark in June for the first time since January 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

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