Incheon Airport tests automatic immigration system

Incheon International Airport is currently testing an automatic immigration system with the help of several government offices, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines.

The facility allows for automatic screening with built-in face recognition technology at checkpoints for departure, transfer and boarding. This cuts out the need for immigration officers to clear passengers.

A traveller, carrying an e-passport, is eligible to use the fast-track procedures from check-in to boarding with facial authentication. Face recognition technologies have been used in Australia and Portugal among others, but restricted to the departure area. Incheon Airport applies the system more extensively.

The system compares the photo stored in the RF chip on an e-passport against the photo captured by the machine. Installations have been placed at two departure gates, two transfer points and two boarding gates. Processes will be reviewed at the end of the year with the aim of making these advanced technologies more available throughout the terminal building.

Incheon Airport’s tests come at a time when travellers are demanding more self-service in their journeys. A new report by technology provider SITA bears this out (see news).

Margie T Logarta


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  • The German Federal Police is offering this as “Easy Pass” in Frankfurt since 2009 and it’s open to EEA citizens with an ePass. It’s both for arrival and departure.

    No prior registration needed unlike with the “Automated and Biometrics-Supported Border Controls” (and Iris Solution) they also operate.

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