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  • Writer's pictureTania Wee

"Your Face Your Passport" with SITA’s Smart Path technology now testing at KLIA

Passengers who travelled to Japan on 30 Jan 2020 were the first to experience the Single Token Journey concept at KL International Airport. The Single Token Journey concept uses facial recognition technology that provides travellers with one single identification verification that can use at the entire airport's touchpoints from check-in to the boarding gate.

This initiative is part of the Airports 4.0 initiative that aims to transform Kuala Lumpur into a smart airport with the use of big date analytics. The concept is being piloted for three months in collaboration with Malaysia Airlines together with air transport specialist in communications and information technology, SITA.

According to Sumesh Patel, SITA president Asia Pacific said, "With SITA Smart Path, your face becomes your boarding pass and passport." Travellers onboard two daily Malaysia Airlines flights to Narita International Airport Tokyo and Kansai International Airport Osaka will get to test the technology during the trial period.

Facial recognition scanners were placed at selected check-in counters and e-gates were placed at the security screening touchpoints and at the boarding gates in preparation of the trial period. Travellers on the aforementioned flights only needs to scan their faces to verify their token at all touchpoints from check-in to boarding.

No longer will their passport or boarding passes be needed when going through the checkpoints thus speeding up the process. The test and trial period hope to see a seamless process as all data is disseminated to all relevant parties such as the airlines, immigration and customs.

Acting group CEO of Malaysia Airports, Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said the single token journey concept was a testament to 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.”

Of course, it remains to be seen how heavy makeup wearers and those who have undergone facial surgery will be impacted by this new system.

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