Passengers using Beijing’s new Daxing International Airport that is opening in September will be able to take advantage of several new smart technologies, including self-check-in and bag-drop kiosks, facial recognition and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology for luggage tracking.

According to Zhang Rui, deputy director of the airport department at the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), 86 per cent of check-ins will be able to be done via self-check-in kiosks, while 76 per cent of luggage will be able to be checked automatically with the help of  self-service bag-drop stations.

Passengers using bag drop stations to check their luggage will also be able to pay luggage fees directly via digital payment methods, including Alipay and WeChat Pay, if their luggage exceeds the free allowance, reports CAAC News.

Meanwhile, facial recognition technology will be used during security inspection to confirm passengers’ identities. This technology will be also be used in self-check-in, bag drop and boarding.

Another smart technology to be deployed in the airport is RFID, a technology using electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to luggages. The information of the luggage is electronically stored in the tags and will be updated at each processing stage.

The real-time status of their luggage can be tracked on a mobile app. China Eastern Airlines has also launched a similar baggage tracking programme, allowing its passengers travelling on domestic flights to track their luggage status on WeChat.

“From the moment passengers get to the terminal to their arrival at the boarding gate, passengers can expect a wholly self-service and paperless experience,” said Zhang.

China has been working on the construction of smart airports over the past few years; for example, earlier this year, Chengdu’s Shuangliu Airport implemented kiosks that use facial recognition technology to provide flight updates, gate information and route guide for passengers.

Beijing Daxing International Airport is situated in the southern Daxing District of the Chinese capital. The construction of the new airport is set to complete by the end of this month, and the airport itself is planned to start operations on September 30 this year. Members of the public can now embark on a virtual reality (VR) tour of the new airport (in Chinese only) created by local media.