AirAsia reveals face recognition airport system
06 February 2018 16:19 GMT

Asian budget carrier AirAsia has revealed a face recognition airport system called FACES, or the Fast Airport Clearance Experience System.

Registering with the system can be done at the specific kiosk located within Senai Airport  in Malaysia.

According to AirAsia, the process takes about 30 seconds and only needs to be done once. There, the person’s face is scanned with a camera that registers between 100 and 180 points and matches it with the corresponding Mykad or passport information (registration will need to be done again in the event that either of these documents is replaced).

According to the airline, the variation in facial data points is due to potential interference from things like headscarves or glasses.

Once registered, will no longer need a boarding pass to enter the gate for all future flights out of Senai. That said, a boarding pass is still required to clear airport security; as mandated by the Department of Civil Aviation. This biometric verification does not include immigration and border processing either.

AirAsia has set up one enrollment kiosk and three auto-boarding gates (at Gates 1, 2, and 3) in Senai International Airport. It should take between 1.5 and five seconds to be verified at the gate. At most, it would be due to lighting conditions and the system requiring extra time to focus on facial features before making a recognition.

Limitations within the system could prevent certain individuals from using the F.A.C.E.S. system. AirAsia has placed an age limit of those over the age of 18 years old. Which is largely due to how facial features change as a person grows up; and due to younger children not having Mykads.

The cameras also have a fixed position, meaning that only people within the height of 145 and 190cm will be able to use it accurately. Even with these guidelines in place, it’s expected that 20 percent of AirAsia passengers will still run into problems. A particularly large margin of error, but nothing too unusual for a pilot project.