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Passport-free travel on Horizon to Singapore Airport


Travelers to Singapore in 2024 may soon be able to travel without a passport, after the island nation passed an amendment to an immigration bill this week. This moves towards additional biometric sensors at Changi Airport, widely considered one of the most important (and busiest) airports in the world.

Currently, Dubai allows passport-free travel for some travelers and is rolling out a system in Terminal 3 for its Emirates passengers. These types of changes are being implemented through advances in biometric technology, allowing airlines and airports to make everything from bag drop to immigration more efficient and paperless.

Modern passports issued by many countries over the past 20 years have become digital in nature: they include an embedded microprocessor chip containing the person’s relevant data. And vast improvements in facial recognition software are also upping the biometrics game for the airline industry.

At Sinagpore Changi Airport, digital biometric scanners will be installed in different parts of the facility, to facilitate travel. Initially, the change will only affect passengers departing from Changi.

“Biometrics will be used to create a unique authentication token that will be used at different automated touchpoints, from bag drop to immigration and boarding. This will reduce the need for passengers to repeatedly present their travel documents at these touchpoints, allowing for smoother and more convenient processing,” said Josephine Teo, Minister of Communications and Information and Second Minister of the Interior.


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