Facial recognition check-ins in works

Facial recognition check-ins in works

Transport Ministry mulling Thai AirAsia request to use system

A Transport Ministry committee is studying a request by Thai AirAsia to implement a flight check-in system using facial recognition sensors, said Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam.

The committee has until the end of the month to decide whether the system is suitable for airports and, if so, how it should be operated. The panel is headed by Somkiat Maneesathit, the deputy director-general of the Department of Airports.

According to Thai AirAsia, the sensors would cut the check-in time by half.

Mr Thaworn said several government agencies will be invited to give their views on the proposed system. They include the Royal Thai Police, the Interior Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

The system requires careful consideration because it uses people's personal data and involves security matters. They must also discuss whether the law permits such a system to be operated.

The deadline for the study expires at the end of the month although it can be extended for 15 days.

If the new check-in method for Thai AirAsia flights is given the green light, it will be implemented on a trial basis at provincial airports in Nakhon Phanom, Nan, Buri Ram and Roi Et.

Santisuk Klongchaiya, Thai AirAsia chief executive officer, said the facial recognition scan is safe and secure for users and effective for the airline as it drastically reduces check-in time. On average, a passenger spends 90 seconds checking in at airport counters.

If the system is approved, Thai AirAsia will be the first airline to use it in Thailand. At present, check-ins at many airports suffer delays, he said.

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