KL airport pilots face recognition tech

03/02/20

Passengers travelling to Japan from Malaysia last week became the first to experience the Single Token Journey concept at KL International Airport.

The single token journey concept utilises facial recognition technology providing passengers with one single identification verification that will take them through the entire airport touchpoints from check-in to the boarding gate. It is part of the Airports 4.0 initiative that aims to transform KUL into a smart airport through the use of big data analytics (BDA).

The concept is being piloted for a period of three months in collaboration with Malaysia Airlines and SITA, the world leading air transport specialist in communications and information technology. During this period, passengers on two daily Malaysia Airlines flights to Narita International Airport, Tokyo and Kansai International Airport, Osaka will get to enjoy this convenience.

Facial recognition scanners have been placed at check-in counters H5 to H8, and e-gates have been placed at the security screening touchpoints and at the boarding gates. Passengers on these flights will only need to scan their faces to verify their ‘token’ at all the touchpoints. They no longer need to present their passports or boarding passes when going through these checkpoints.

According to the acting group chief executive officer (AGCEO) of Malaysia Airports, Dato' Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, the single token journey concept is a testament of the organisation’s continuous commitment in improving services at the airports, “Our main focus in moving forward is to strengthen Malaysia’s position as an aviation hub. We will ensure that services at our airports are at par with other mega hubs around the world. Harnessing technology for this purpose is one way we can simplify airport processes for our guests. This initiative is especially timely in view of Visit Malaysia 2020. We expect to have a successful pilot so that we can implement this in totality at KUL,” he said.

Malaysia Aviation Group chief executive officer (CEO) Captain Izham Ismail said, “The single- token journey concept is a collaboration with Malaysia Airports, which will allow our passengers to enjoy reduced check-in time and identity verification within seconds. As this is the trial period, we will make this option available first to passengers flying into Tokyo and Osaka to gather feedback and monitor their acceptance rate. The single-token will also help manage the queue at our check-in counters, especially during peak periods, and we hope to fully adopt this system by quarter four of 2020.”

Sumesh Patel, SITA President Asia Pacific, said: “SITA is delighted to be a partner of Malaysia Airports for its Airports 4.0 digital transformation initiative. With SITA Smart PathTM, your face becomes your boarding pass and passport, eliminating the need for passengers to provide travel documents repeatedly throughout the airport. We look forward to working with Malaysia Airports and Malaysia Airlines to deliver an elevated customer experience through this new biometric technology for ID management.”

The single-token biometric ID approach no longer requires checking of any physical identity at the various multiple checkpoints because all data have been disseminated to all relevant parties such as the airlines, immigration and customs.

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