Singapore airport to open new terminal with automated face recognition system

Singapore’s Changi Airport will open a new T4 terminal later this year that will allow passengers to go through check-in to boarding without having to speak to a single airport security official, according to a report by Reuters.

The terminal arrives just in time as Changi is already operating close to total capacity. The airport is considered the world’s sixth busiest for international traffic.

The new airport terminal will be the first in Asia to implement facial recognition technology to offer self-service options at check-in, bag drop, immigration and boarding, according to Corrine Png, CEO of transport research firm Crucial Perspective Pte.

Changi expects the automated process at the new S$985 million (US$723.57 million) terminal to result in a 20 percent decrease in manpower in the long term.

The new terminal will boost  the airport’s overall annual capacity by 16 million passengers to 82 million.

Nine airlines will operate at the terminal, including the Air Asia Group, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, Korean Air, Spring Airlines and Vietnam Airlines, Changi said.

T4 will have a gross floor area 225,000 square meters (738,189 square feet), which will be able to accommodate two-thirds the number of passengers at T3.

“One of the objectives for T4 was to use it as a test bed for new concepts, new technology and new equipment,” said Poh Li San, vice president of Changi Airport Group’s T4 program management office.

The city-state plans to open a fifth terminal in about a decade that will be capable of handling 50 million passengers annually in its initial phase.

Earlier this month, the Singaporean government revealed it is testing a full self-service system with biometrics and passport scans for immigration clearance, which would allow travelers to drive into a car bay and have their identity authenticated while remaining in their vehicle.

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