Qatar’s Hamad International has launched the second phase of its ‘Smart Airport programme’, which will introduce biometric systems across the entire passenger journey.

Facial recognition technology will be used at bag-drop, security and boarding, with the biometric information registered during check-in at a kiosk or via an app.

As well as speeding up queues and removing the need to show multiple documents at each point, Hamad International said it would also allow it to track passengers’ movements through the airport, allowing it to improve efficiency.

Last year the airport installed new self-check-in and bag-drop booths.

It said 40 per cent of Qatar Airways passengers were using self-check-in, and 20 per cent were using self-bag-drop.

Use of facial recognition programmes is rising rapidly in airports around the world. Last year, Delta launched the first end-to-end biometric system at a US airport. Numerous other airlines, airports and government agencies are working on their own programmes, including Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Emirates and Heathrow.

Kiosks at airports in China have been spotted that provide flight information based on biometric information.

We recently looked at how biometrics and other new technologies will change the airport experience in the coming years:

Five ways the airport experience is changing