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Malaysia launches first airport facial recognition system in Johor Bahru airport

Malaysia launches first airport facial recognition system in Johor Bahru airport

According
to a report
by the New Straits Times, AirAsia launched its own airport facial recognition
system at the Senai International Airport, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

AirAsia’s
Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (FACES) is a facial recognition system
that enables passengers to board their flight at self-boarding gates without
having to present any travel documents.

Officially
launched at the Senai International Airport, Johor Bahru, FACES is fully owned
and operated by the AirAsia Group. It is the first airline in Asia to use
biometric facial recognition technology to facilitate the check-in and boarding
processes.

According
to AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, the system aims to transform
on-ground experience while speeding up security clearance and boarding process in
a step towards digitising its airline operations.

The
Home Ministry is looking at the possibility of using AirAsia’s FACES at
airports nationwide, according to the
Star
.

At
the launch event, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the Immigration
Department is monitoring the implementation of the system at the Senai
International Airport.

“The
system will complement existing security systems at airports in the country for
enhanced safety and security,” Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed
commented.

He
also expressed hopes that Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and AirAsia can
discuss rolling out this system at other airports nationwide.

The
Senai International Airport is the first Malaysian airport to pilot this
technology. According to AirAsia Deputy Group CEO Aireen Omar, 3,000 passengers
had passes through the system during the 1-month trial for domestic flights at
the airport last year.

MMC
Corp Bhd Group Managing Director Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh commented
that “the initiative will further enhance passenger’s travelling experience and
airport operations efficiency with faster security and screening processes,
specifically to accommodate the growing number of passengers travelling through
this airport.”

Datuk
Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh also forecasted that passenger traffic will
increase by 16% to 3.6million this year.

According
to another report
by the New Straits Times, FACES has an 80% success rate in identification. It
claims to reduce the boarding process to between 9 and 11 minutes, from 11 to
13 minutes on an average procedure.

Adult
passengers can enrol at kiosks located at the check-in area at the Senai
International Airport. The enrolment is a one-time process, until the identity
document expires which passengers will need to register again. Passengers simply
have to place their MyKad or chip-enabled passport in the document reader and
look at the camera to create their biometric token.

Registered
travellers are identified as they approach the auto boarding gate and allowed
to board their flight directly. FACES does not include immigration and border
processing, as the first phase is focused on the use of facial recognition at
the airport security checkpoint and boarding.

Mr Fernandes
said he hopes FACES would serve as inspiration to other airports in the country
to implement the system and revolutionise the way people travel.

According to the report by the Star, AirAsia is
in the midst of rolling out the facial recognition system for passengers
departing from Senai to Macau and Don Muang Airport in Bangkok.