Singapore Airport Will Use Facial Recognition Tech to Find Late Flyers

May 2, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN) says it plans to test new facial recognition technology throughout its terminals. Airport officials say the new platform will be capable of identifying passengers among the crowds at gates and in terminals.

Facial recognition technology has popped up at some airports as a new means of boarding for certain airlines. Lufthansa used it earlier this year to board an A380 in 20 minutes. But Changi’s use of it would push it a step further. Airport representatives say that the tech could help replace passengers’ passports and even scan the terminal to find flyers who are about to miss their plane.

“We have lots of reports of lost passengers… so one possible use case we can think of is, we need to detect and find people who are on the flight,” Steve Lee, chief information officer of Changi Airport told Reuters. “Of course, with permission from the airlines.”

Lee says the airport has been testing the technology and thinks it will be able to begin preliminary use in about one year.

Changi is said to be in talks with several tech firms to provide the facial recognition systems, one of which is Chinese company Yitu, and the interface can identify more than 1.8 billion faces in less than 3 seconds.

Similar technology is already in use in Changi’s newest terminal, T4, for passenger self-service at check-in, luggage drop, immigration and boarding. For instance, when a passenger drops their bag at the self-service booth, their picture is taken and matched to their passport. The same process takes place at the automatic immigration checkpoint, and that picture is later used as a boarding pass.

Lee predicts this process will soon replace physical passports and boarding passes. “Then actually in future, you just take your face,” he said. “You don’t need your passport.”

The new technology developments at Changi are part of a larger push throughout Singapore for a “smart nation,” or a program to use advances in tech to make the city-state more efficient. The program’s critics say the facial recognition platform throughout the entire island nation raises major privacy concerns.

But, as far as the airport is concerned, Lee says the new facial recognition interface will help solve a litany of problems — from lost passengers to gate planning.

As he said to Reuters: “You can’t say you are a smart nation when you come to the airport and it’s not so smart.”

Featured image by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.