Incheon International Airport is seeking to ease the hassle of checks at departure halls and boarding gates by expanding facial recognition technology.
By Arirang News
Passengers at Incheon International Airport are facing new technology. The new SmartPass service, at the country's largest airport, streamlines the passenger identification process by using facial recognition technology. Passengers no longer need to take out their passports and boarding passes at departure halls and boarding gates. All they "need" is their face.
Both foreign and South Korean nationals aged seven and above can register for the new service, with two ways to opt in. One way is by downloading the SmartPass mobile app and registering by scanning your passport and face. While airports in other countries have already implemented similar facial recognition systems, the one at Incheon Airport is the only one where users can register on mobile apps. Passengers can also register on-site at self check-in kiosks. Just like the mobile app, all you have to do is scan your passport and register your facial biometrics, 30 minutes before you need to use the service. The mobile app and the self check-in kiosks are both available in English, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. Your facial identification data is also valid for 5 years. "And now you can simply walk up to the camera and then go through right away without needing to show anyone your passport or your boarding pass."
So far people from 46 different countries have registered, according to an airport official. It has also been well-received by passengers since it was first introduced in late July during the peak summer holiday season. "You don't need a lot of people manning it and it's all very automated, so you just check in and you're kind of done." "Before we used to wait a long time but the identification process is a lot more convenient and faster which is why I decided to sign up for this service." Incheon airport officials say that it'll also enhance security, as human biometrics are impossible to duplicate. And it's being done without compromising passengers' privacy.
"We regularly delete private passenger information according to the related laws." The airport is looking to expand the service — which is currently available at all six departure halls and 16 boarding gates — so that it can also be used at all gates by April 2025.
Lee Soo-jin, Arirang News.