Narita airport starts facial recognition trial run for faster travel
13 Apr 2021 at 14:06
Signs for social distancing are seen on seats at the arrival zone of Narita airport, east of Tokyo, where there are fewer passengers than usual amid the coronavirus outbreak. (Reuters photo)
TOKYO: Narita airport, near Tokyo, started on Tuesday trialing the use of facial recognition for international travellers, with no need to show passports or flight tickets after check-in.
The trial of "Face Express," which is meant to speed up the boarding process and provide a touchless experience for passengers, only involved airport staff and not actual travellers, Narita International Airport Corp said.
The system is scheduled to be adopted at Narita as well as Haneda airport, Tokyo's other international gateway, in July.
Fliers who wish to use the Face Express system will have their photos taken at check-in when they register their passports and boarding passes.
The biometric ID processing will mean that passengers will not have to keep taking out their passports and tickets at the luggage drop, security checkpoints and boarding gates with cameras, ensuring smooth air travel.
It will also lead to reduced physical contact between travelers, machines, airport and flight staff, helping to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus during the pandemic, the airport operator said.
Passenger data, including facial images, will be deleted within 24 hours after registration to protect privacy.
Narita airport's Face Express will be used initially by All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, gradually expanding to other airlines.
At Haneda airport, airlines flying international routes will all use the new system.
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