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Perth Airport swaps boarding passes for facial recognition

written by Casey Martin | October 5, 2022

A Qantas A330, VH-QPF, at Perth International Airport (Mailer Diablo, WikiCommons)

Passengers travelling on selected Singapore Airlines flights from Perth can now use facial recognition technology in place of a traditional boarding pass.

The futuristic tech also eliminates the need for a passport check at both the bag drop and boarding gate, which the business hopes will reduce delays.

It follows the airport recently converting 16 conventional check-in counters at the T1 international terminal into 36 self-check-in kiosks, alongside adding 16 more ‘auto bag drops’. Each of these new systems has biometric processing capabilities.

Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown said the new technology will both enhance security and speed up passenger processing.

“The passenger experience is paramount, and this technology will allow us to serve more passengers to a higher standard, supporting the growth of our airport,” said Brown.


The trail will seek volunteer passengers to check in at one of the biometric kiosks. The kiosks will ask the passenger to create a biometric token that verifies their booking details, facial image and passport.

When the passenger moves to the auto bag drop, they will be identified with facial recognition, removing the need for a physical boarding pass.

The same will happen when the passenger boards the aircraft, a facial recognition camera will confirm their identity.

In terms of privacy, the biometric token will be stored on a secure server for a limited period and will be deleted after the passenger boards the flight or 24 hours after the token was created.

One volunteer passenger published their experience in The West Australian, detailing the steps taken for this new face recognition kiosk, claiming the whole process took seconds.

Currently, biometric processing is being used in airports across four continents, with Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines already subscribing to self-service kiosks. Cathay Pacific, Emirates, and Malaysia Airlines will soon follow suit.

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Comments (5)

  • Pete


    Super-creepy Orwellian stuff that would make the Chinese proud.

  • Craig Hamilton


    Convenience at the cost of security and privacy?
    Can we really trust airports and/or airlines to securely store and delete this biometric information? Do they really have the appropriate cybersecurity posture and resources to deliver on this promise?

  • chris


    But I like to keep my boarding passes as a souvenir. And I know a long serving previous CEO of a major Australian carrier who does the same!

    • Vannus


      Yes, chris, I too, keep my boarding passes’, AND I write that flight’s aircraft’s rego on the back of ‘em!

      Have done this for decades’, as well as keeping a ‘Flight Log’.

  • JayMac Aviation


    I Absolutely agree with Craig! And at a more basic level you also need a reliable internet connection.

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