Hong Kong International Airport rolls out face recognition-enabled departure for visitors

The Immigration Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government announced that Hong Kong International Airport has rolled out a face recognition-based self-service departure for visitors to Hong Kong, according to a report by Xinhua Net.

The Hong Kong government first announced in January that it would introduce a facial biometrics-enabled electronic channel service at airport departure gates.

Using face recognition technology for identity verification, Smart Departure is designed to provide greater travel convenience for visitors while improving the effectiveness of immigration control.

Photos of visitors will be taken at arrival clearance counters to help in authenticating their identities, with the whole process taking about 20 seconds.

All visitors aged 11 or above who have a valid electronic travel documents compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s requirements and issued by designated countries or regions may conduct self-service departure clearance through Smart Departure e-channels without previous enrolment.

Under the existing airport protocols, all arriving visitors will be issued with landing slips. Upon completion of arrival clearance at immigration counters, the landing slips of eligible visitors will also display the Smart Departure logo.

The department will also install cameras at arrival clearance counters to take real-time photos of visitors, which will be compared with the photos in their travel documents through face recognition technology.

The measures will be initially implemented at Hong Kong International Airport and will be extended in phases to other control points.

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