KUCHING: AirAsia passengers travelling through Kuching International Airport can now experience the Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (FACES) which was first introduced at its maiden location at Senai International Airport, Johor Bahru, back in February 2018.
This marks its first expansion outside of the Johor Bahru airport.
Fully owned and operated by AirAsia, FACES uses facial recognition technology to identify enrolled guests as they approach the automated boarding gate, allowing them to board their flight without having to present any travel documents.
According to AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer Riad Asmat, this system was implemented at its boarding gates in Kuching International Airport on October 25 last year with boarding officially commencing on November 1, 2019.
“The response for guests travelling through Kuching International Airport is increasing, as we received close to 1,400 enrolments in November and close to 1,600 enrolments in December,” he told The Borneo Post in an interview.
“Moreover, guests boarded using FACES from Kuching International Airport have increased from 672 in November to 905 in December 2019.”
AirAsia is the first airline in Asia to introduce this seamless travel experience from check-in to boarding with the latest biometric facial recognition technology.
“As part of AirAsia’s commitment towards becoming a digital airline, FACES aims to transform guests’ airport experience and improve the check-in process once fully deployed, while reducing the amount of time it takes to board an aircraft.
“This step forward to digitise our operations using biometric tokens and ID management tools is a first in the country, and we hope to work with other airports in Malaysia in the future to use this technology and revolutionise the way people travel,” Riad added.
“As with all technology, it is always progressive and adaptive – hence, we look forward to providing the best experience for our guests as we move forward to becoming a digital airline.”
To sign up for this system, users need to download AirAsia mobile app, log in, access their account and tap on “My FACES”.
After that, users will need to keep their face within the frame and hit record, and stay still until the recording is complete. After uploading the aforesaid video, the registering process on the app is done.
First time users will need to do a one-time verification with an AirAsia staff. Once successful, you’ll receive a one-time QR code to verify your face video and passport or identification card at the airport.
Available for guests aged 18 and above, the enrolment is a one-time process, after which guests may use AirAsia’s biometric gates for all flights as long as their identity document remains valid.
Enrolled guests will also benefit from an expedited process at the security checkpoint, in addition to boarding the flight seamlessly.
Apart from its pilot phase at Senai International Airport and now here in KIA, the AirAsia Malaysia CEO also revealed that the system is also implemented at Avalon Airport in Melbourne, Australia beginning December last year.
This marks the first international airport outside of Southeast Asia to feature the facial recognition technology in celebration of AirAsia X’s first anniversary of operation at the new airport.
“With FACES, operations at Avalon Airport will now be more efficient as FACES allows our guests to fast track the boarding process by removing the need for human intervention at the gate,” he enthused.
Riad thus hoped all AirAsia guests will enrol themselves to use FACES as the group will continue to implement the system in other airports soon.