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The rise of biometric screening in airports

New Face Express system at Tokyo’s Haneda airport joins slew of biometric tools recently introduced by airports across the globe

The use of biometrics has been growing steadily at airports in recent years, but Covid-19 has given the technology a new focus, enabling a reduction in human interaction at check-in and immigration.

Last year, Emirates launched an integrated ‘biometric path’ at Dubai International, enabling customers to experience a contactless travel journey through the airport, while fellow Gulf carrier Etihad recently partnered with information technology company SITA to trial the use of facial biometrics for cabin crew check-in. In addition, earlier this year, Dubai’s DXB announced that passengers could clear immigration in seconds with its new biometric scanners.

Now, Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport is following suit. Collins Aerospace has completed the installation of new biometric screening technology called Face Express which it says will “streamline passenger processing through reduced physical interactions and bottlenecks at multiple passenger touchpoints”.

The project has seen the addition of 98 self-service check-in kiosks, 30 biometric enrolment kiosks, 104 biometric devices for self-bag drops, 17 biometric automated security gates and 42 biometric automated self-boarding gates.

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Commenting on the news, Shoichi Ohashi, Tokyo International Air Terminal Corporation’s senior manager for the Facility Department, said: “Our Face Express system will allow passengers to efficiently proceed through the airport using facial recognition, eliminating the hassle of showing their passport and boarding pass. We have worked closely with Collins Aerospace to achieve this to enhance passenger convenience at Tokyo Haneda airport.”

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