Singapore’s Changi Airport will introduce automated immigration clearance in 2024 which will allow passengers to depart the city-state using only biometric data — no passports required.
“Singapore will be one of the first few countries in the world to introduce automated, passport-free immigration clearance,” Communications Minister Josephine Teo said during a session of parliament in September. Numerous changes to the country’s Immigration Act were passed during the session.
Biometric technology and facial recognition software are already in limited use at Changi Airport at automated lanes at immigration checkpoints. The new advances will “reduce the need for passengers to repeatedly present their travel documents at touch points and allow for more seamless and convenient processing,” Minister Teo said.
Biometrics will be used to create a “single token of authentication” that will be employed at automated touch like bag drops, immigration clearance and boarding. They will eliminate the need for physical travel documents such as boarding passes and passports, reports say.
Passports will still be required for other countries outside of Singapore that do not offer passport-free clearance, Teo stressed.