Remember how we would awe in fascination at advanced technology gadgets in movies such as James Bond and Kingsman? Well, it seems like we’re another step closer to the future with this latest news!
AirAsia Group has officially launched its Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (FACES), Malaysia’s first airport facial recognition system with self-boarding gate in Senai International Airport, Johor Bahru on Febraury 6. This marks it as the first airline in Asia to offer the latest biometric facial recognition technology, New Straits Times reported.
Fully owned and operated by AirAsia, FACES uses facial recognition technology to identify enrolled guests as they approach the automated boarding gate, allowing them to board their flight without having to present any travel documents.
AirAsia Group chief executive officer and AirAsia X co-group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said FACES marks its latest effort to transform the on-ground experience to be smoother and less stressful, speeding up security clearance and the boarding process in a step towards digitising its airline operations. The system is currently in its first phrase.
“With FACES, your face is your passport, making it a breeze to clear the gate and board your flight. With the success of FACES, we hope it will serve as an inspiration in the industry. We are also keen to work with other airports in Malaysia to revolutionise the way people travel with this technology and make flying enjoyable again,” he said.
It is revealed that RM30,000 has been invested by AirAsia into FACES. A trial period for a month has been conducted where 3,000 people had used the system without problems.
Also present were Johor Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong, AirAsia Group Deputy CEO (digital, transformation, corporate services) Aireen Omar and Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd CEO Md Derick Basir.
How does FACES work?
To get started, passengers have to enrol themselves in the system at a dedicated enrollment kiosk located at the check-in kiosk area. Then, your MyKad or chip-enabled passport is to be placed in the document reader, and guests will have to look at the camera to create their biometric token.
The enrollment is a one-time process, and guests may board all domestic flights through biometric gates as long as their identity document remains valid. It can be done before or after the check-in counter has closed. Update of enrollment record is needed upon expiry of identity document.
Once the identity is secured into the system, guests can proceed with the usual security and immigration clearance and head to the boarding gate. A printed boarding pass or mobile check-in QR code will still required by the authorities. Just in case.
Each passenger can reportedly be cleared between 1.5 to 4 seconds. If there are any issues, the manual process through an AirAsia staff is still available, Soya Cincau reported.
However, this service is only available for guests aged 18 and above. This is because those below the required age do not have fully developed facial features, which would affect its reliability. Besides that, FACES is open to foreigners as well!
At the moment, only the Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru is providing this service, with three auto boarding gates (Gate 1, 2, 3).
Introducing F.A.C.E.S. at Senai International Airport (Johor Bahru) – The first airline in Asia to have a seamless…
Group Managing Director of MMC Corporation Berhad, Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said the initiative will further enhance passenger’s travelling experience and airport operations efficiency with faster security and screening processes, specifically to accommodate the growing number of passengers travelling through the Johor Bahru-based airport.
“We are expecting the passenger traffic to increase by 16 per cent to 3.6 million this year,” he said.
Aireen added that all companies have to ensure any personal data obtained through these services must not be leaked to other parties, according to The Sun Daily. “It is our responsibility to ensure the personal data in this system is used only for self-checking and boarding only,” she warned.
Hopefully this feature will be available at other airports in the future nationwide!
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