MAHB to roll out facial recognition for passenger authentication, replacing boarding passes

MAHB to roll out facial recognition for passenger authentication, replacing boarding passes
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 18): Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said today the group is rolling out the first phase of the "Single Token Journey" under its Airports 4.0 initiatives, where facial recognition will replace physical travel documents such as airline tickets and boarding passes for faster and safer passenger authentication at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

“The initiative utilises facial recognition technology to provide passengers with one single-token biometric identification authentication that will take them through the entire airport journey without having to show their boarding passes at all touchpoints from check-in right until the boarding gates,” noted MAHB in a statement today.

The group added that the authentication process is expected to take about five seconds for each passenger at every touchpoint, shortening the airport journey considerably.

MAHB group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said: ”Apart from the obvious benefit of improving our service levels to passengers by reducing airport processing time, it will also enable our passengers to go through a completely contactless experience and enhance their safety at the airport within the parameters of the new travel norms."

He added that this initiative will also minimise instances of fraudulent identity use.

The first phase of the technology roll-out is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021 (1H21) where 50 self-check-in kiosks, 20 check-in counters and 56 e-gates at the security checkpoints and boarding gates at both KLIA Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 will be equipped with facial recognition technology, the group noted. 

According to Mohd Shukrie, the technology will also be integrated with the MYAirports app where passengers can enrol their facial authentication even before they arrive at the airport itself.

He noted: “Integration with the immigration system will also enable foreigners to utilise the immigration auto-gates instead of queuing at the counters.

“Future implementation may also include other touchpoints such as retail purchases as well as access to airline lounges,” he added. 

Mohd Shukrie pointed out that MAHB’s aim is to make the airport “future-ready”, especially when travel picks up again. 

“We are making this technology available at the airport because we also need to restore confidence among air travel passengers, and we hope to gain the cooperation of our airline partners to integrate their processes to adapt to this available technology,” he added.

Joyce Goh