Incheon International Airport to do away with passport identification

If all goes well, the new system could be ready for international flights as soon as 2020. Source: Shutterstock.

SOUTH KOREA, the land of technology and the world’s leading digital city, is joining the league of ultra high tech airports.

The country’s main gateway, Incheon International Airport, has adopted an employee identification system using iris scanning technology on a test basis.

If successful, the airport will expand the biometric ID system to all general airport users, Arirang reported.

The scanning system has been installed for its employees at the “speed gate” at its headquarters.

If applied to the airport’s check-in system, it would allow travelers to pass customs and board airplanes via iris scanning, removing the need to present a physical passport for identification purposes.

Aside from iris scanning, Incheon International Airport is also running 3D motion scan technology for security check-in procedures and a system that can verify a passenger’s fingerprints without the need to touch anything.

According to an airport official, they are currently working with relevant authorities such as South Korea’s immigration agency on plans moving forward.

The new system could be ready for international flights as soon as 2020.

Self-check-in kiosks inside Incheon International Airport, South Korea. Source: Shutterstock.

Incheon International Airport is not the first airport to use biometric authentication technology.

Singapore’s Changi Airport has been using facial recognition to replace customs and check-in procedures at its terminals. In fact, Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4 (T4) uses start-to-end automation, from do-it-yourself checking in to baggage tagging, and aircraft boarding.

Similarly, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has been very active in adopting new technologies to upgrade the airport facilities and services, embracing biometrics, robotics, and data analytics to streamline passenger journey.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also recently announced that in near future, passengers will be able to simply walk through any of its airports by keeping their passport in their pocket and breeze through the gate.