AirAsia launches airport facial recognition system, FACES

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SENAI: Low cost carrier AirAsia is on track towards becoming a digital airline with the launch of its Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (FACES), Malaysia’s first airport facial recognition system with self-boarding gate.

Available at the Senai International Airport, Johor Bahru, it makes AirAsia as the first airline in Asia to have a seamless travel experience from check-in to boarding, with the latest biometric facial recognition technology.

Fully owned and operated by AirAsia, FACES uses facial recognition technology to identify enrolled guests as they approach the automated boarding gate, allowing them to board their flight without having to present any travel documents.

As of now, FACES can be used by domestic passengers only and with a cost of RM300,000 for phase one.

AirAsia is expected to widen the use of the system for international flights in stages later this year.

Group CEO of AirAsia and Co-Group CEO of AirAsia X, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said, FACES marks AirAsia’s latest effort to make the on-ground experience more seamless and less stressful by using cutting edge biometric technology to authenticate guests.

“With FACES, your face is your passport, making it a breeze to clear the gate and board your flight.

“Senai International Airport has been working with us in our efforts to improve the travel experience for our guests through digital innovation, as they did when they became the first airport in Malaysia to implement self-service baggage check-in.

“We hope the success of FACES here will serve as an inspiration and we are keen to work with other airports in Malaysia to revolutionise the way people travel with this technology and make flying enjoyable again,” said Fernandes.

The system was launched by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

Also present, Deputy Group CEO (Digital, Transformation, Corporate Services) of AirAsia, Aireen Omar.

“We’ve seen significant growth in terms of passengers flying with us in Johor. To facilitate the volume of transaction with high accuracy and to provide better security for our passengers, FACES is expected to make boarding process more seamless,” said Aireen.

Meanwhile, Group Managing Director of MMC Corporation Berhad, Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said, as the first airport in Malaysia to pilot this cutting-edge technology, the initiative will further enhance AirAsia passenger’s travelling experience and airport operations efficiency with faster security and screening processes.

“Security screening process especially will be much seamless especially to accommodate the growing number of passengers travelling through this airport. We are forecasting the passenger traffic to increase by 16% to 3.6million this year,” said Che Khalib.

Guests who wish to be part of FACES may do so using a dedicated enrolment kiosk located at check-in kiosk area at Senai International Airport.

Guests simply have to place their MyKad or chip-enabled passport in the document reader and look at the camera to create their biometric token.

Available for guests aged 18 and above, the enrolment is a one-time process, after which guests may use AirAsia’s biometric gates for all flights as long as their identity document remains valid.

Upon expiry of the identity document, guests will need to update the enrolment record with a new valid document.

Enrolled guests will also benefit from an expedited process at the security checkpoint, in addition to boarding the flight seamlessly.

FACES has been running in trial stages since January 24 and has since seen 3,000 passengers using the system daily.

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