A partnership between Malaysia Airports, SITA, and Malaysia Airlines sees a pilot programme for facial recognition check-ins for passengers
Travellers heading to Narita International Airport and Kansai International Airport in the next few months will be making history as they will be among the first to experience a futuristic, high-tech check-in process before boarding flights as part of a three-month pilot programme at KL International Airport. Under the Airports 4.0 initiative, the Single Token Journey concept allows for a seamless travel experience with the usage of facial recognition technology, providing passengers with one single identification verification throughout their entire journey along the entire airport’s touchpoints. The initiative aims to transform KLIA into a smart airport through the use of big data analytics.
Through a partnership between Malaysia Airlines and SITA, the world-leading air transport specialist in communication and information technology, the Single Token Journey concept will be used by passengers throughout their check-in process, from initial check-in until they reach the boarding gates, with facial recognition scanners placed at check-in counters H5 to H8, while e-gates are found at the security screening touchpoints and boarding gates respectively. No passports or boarding passes are needed for passengers on the two flights, as they will only need to scan their faces to verify their ‘token’ throughout all the touchpoints.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airports, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said in his statement that the Single Token Journey concept is a testament of the organisation’s continuous commitment in improving services at the airports.
“Our main focus in moving forward is to strengthen Malaysia’s position as an aviation hub. We will ensure that services at our airports are on par with other mega hubs around the world. Harnessing technology for this purpose is one way we can simplify airport processes for our guests. This initiative is especially timely in view of Visit Malaysia 2020. We expect to have a successful pilot so that we can implement this in totality at KUL,” he said.
According to Malaysia Aviation Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Captain Izham Ismail, the single-token will help ease check-in queues, saying, “The single-token will also help manage the queue at our check-in counters, especially during peak periods, and we hope to fully adopt this system by quarter four of 2020.”
Meanwhile, Sumesh Patel, SITA President Asia Pacific, explained more about SITA’s technology in powering the initiative. “With SITA Smart PathTM, your face becomes your boarding pass and passport, eliminating the need for passengers to provide travel documents repeatedly throughout the airport.,” he says. “We look forward to working with Malaysia Airports and Malaysia Airlines to deliver elevated customer experience through this new biometric technology for ID management.”
The single-token biometric ID approach is good news for those who find it a hassle to take out their passports and travel documents for every check-in point all relevant data have been disseminated to all relevant parties such as airlines, immigrants, and customs. Travellers can rest easy knowing that their important documents are tucked away safely after the initial check-in, with the risk of losing passports or boarding tickets greatly reduced.
The Single-Token biometric checks will be implemented at check-in and bag drop; when going through security; and for boarding aircrafts, eliminating the hassle of taking out your passports and flight tickets each time.