Travelers flying from Singapore's Changi Airport in 2024 will no longer have to present their passports upon departure, as the world's best flight terminal is set to introduce a new automated immigration clearance in the first half of the year.
According to a CNN report, the new system will allow passengers to depart Singapore without passports and travel documents by using biometric data to create a "single token of authentication." The data will then be deployed to various automated touchpoints in the airport, from luggage check-in counters to immigration clearance and flight boarding.
“Singapore will be one of the first few countries in the world to introduce automated, passport-free immigration clearance,” Singapore communications minister Josephine Teo said during a parliament session on Sept. 19.
Its implementation is an expansion of Changi Airport's current use of biometric technology and facial recognition in some of its automated lanes and immigration checkpoints.
“This will reduce the need for passengers to repeatedly present their travel documents at these touchpoints, allowing for more seamless and convenient processing,” Teo added.
The communications minister noted, however, that many airports outside of Singapore still require passengers to present their passports upon entry. Thus, travelers will still need to bring their passports during travel.
Changi Airport's plans to roll out an automated immigration clearance in the entire airport coincide with the construction of its fifth terminal and high-speed rail linkage with Malaysia's state of Johor.
“Our immigration systems must be able to manage this high and growing volume of travelers efficiently and provide a positive clearance experience while ensuring our security,” Teo concluded.