Singapore: Changi Airport boosts safety by implementing new contactless safety measures

Facial and iris recognition, instead of fingerprint scanning, will be the primary biometric identifier for travellers at Changi Airport's immigration clearance.


singapore changi airport boosts safety by implementing new contactless safety measures
The use of facial and iris recognition as the primary option began around April and is now in place at Terminals 1 and 3 at Changi Airport. Photo: TNP/ARIFFIN JAMAR

Changi Airport has begun transforming the passenger experience with new contactless and cleaning innovations for a safer airport journey. These measures will be rolled out airport-wide in preparation for when air travel into and out of Singapore gradually resumes, reported Airlinergs.

At Changi’s automated kiosks, new proximity sensors are being installed progressively to eliminate the need for travellers to touch the electronic screens when they check in or drop off their bags. Used for the first time in any airport, infrared sensors will enable passengers to select options and key in their travel details by pointing their finger close to the screen without touching it. For those who need to check in at counters staffed by customer service agents, acrylic screens will provide a safe barrier between passengers and staff.

Changi’s contactless passenger experience will also extend to immigration. The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority has upgraded the automated immigration lanes at Changi Airport with a new biometric system that uses face and iris recognition technology as the primary means for identity verification. This replaces traditional fingerprint scanning.

singapore changi airport boosts safety by implementing new contactless safety measures

A traveler using the contactless clearance at Changi Airport. Photo: The New Paper

Changi Airport Group (CAG) is also doing more with technology to clean and disinfect the airport. Autonomous cleaning robots in the terminals have been upgraded with a nozzle that sprays a light disinfecting mist for added protection on carpets and floors during cleaning. CAG is also testing the use of ultraviolet-C (UV-C) LEDs to disinfect the handrails of escalators and travellators in a safe way. A trial is also being conducted on the use of contactless infrared technology for passenger lifts, where travellers just need to hover their finger over the lift button to activate it.

These new contactless and cleaning innovations build on Changi Airport’s previously introduced precautionary measures against Covid-19. These include temperature screening at key points, safe distancing, use of masks by all passengers and staff, increased cleaning and disinfecting, widespread introduction of sensor-activated “auto” hand sanitizers and the use of a long-lasting antimicrobial spray on frequently touched surfaces for added protection against pathogens.

Mr Tan Lye Teck, Changi Airport Group’s Executive Vice President for Airport Management said, “Passengers will expect airports to deliver the highest standards of safety and hygiene to give them peace of mind during their journey, and we will rapidly bring on board new measures as we go into a new normal for air travel. The improvements we announce today demonstrate CAG’s continuous commitment to passenger health and a positive airport experience. CAG will work with other aviation partners to instill a high sense of confidence among travellers going through Changi Airport when air travel eventually resumes”.

singapore changi airport boosts safety by implementing new contactless safety measures
More than 160 automated kiosks across Terminals 1 and 3 will be fitted with proximity touch screens, with infrared sensors to track finger movements. PHOTO: Straits Times/ARIFFIN JAMAR

Changi Airport T4: Contactless clearance, or clearing immigration without scanning fingerprints. Video: CNA

singapore changi airport boosts safety by implementing new contactless safety measures
Photo: Strait Times Graphics