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18 June, 2024
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Singapore's Changi Airport revolutionizes no-passport travel

Biometric passport-free immigration set to redefine the future of flying


Travel at one of the world's best airports is about to become even smoother next year.

Starting in 2024, Singapore's Changi Airport will introduce automated immigration clearance, allowing passengers to leave the city-state without passports, relying solely on biometric data.

Singapore is set to be among the first countries worldwide to implement automated passport-free immigration permits, announced Communications Minister Josephine Teo.

While biometric technology and facial recognition software are already partially employed in automated lanes at Changi airport's immigration checkpoints, the upcoming changes aim to reduce the need for travelers to repeatedly present their travel documents.

The biometrics will generate a "single identity token" for use at various automated touchpoints, including baggage drop-off and boarding, eliminating the requirement for travel documents like passports.

However, Teo noted that passports will remain necessary for many countries outside Singapore that do not offer passport-free permits.

A Glimpse into the Future of Travel

Effortless travel is gaining popularity, and observers suggest that biometric identification could be the future of travel. In 2018, Dubai International Airport introduced "Smart Gates," utilizing facial recognition to authenticate travelers' identities in as little as five seconds. Passengers also have the option to use their fingerprints or facial scans for authentication instead of relying on physical passports.

Facial recognition technology is already in use to some extent at airports in various parts of the world, including Hong Kong, Tokyo, New Delhi, London, and Paris, among others.

[Information sourced from Money Review]

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