Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) in Malaysia has announced plans to roll out the first phase of the Single Token Journey initiative, which will deploy facial recognition technology.

This new initiative will offer passengers one single token biometric identification authentication, which will eliminate the need for them to present their boarding passes at all touchpoints.

The authentication process is expected to shorten the airport journey significantly by taking just five seconds at each touchpoint.

The introduction of the technology under the first phase is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2021.

Under phase one, around 50 self-check-in kiosks, 20 check-in counters and 56 eGates will be installed at security checkpoints and boarding gates at KUL Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

Malaysia Airports group CEO Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said: “This initiative was among several identified mission critical projects that we forged ahead with despite constraints caused by the pandemic.

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“Apart from the obvious benefit of improving our service levels to passengers by reducing airport processing time, it will also enable our passengers to go through a completely contactless experience and enhance their safety at the airport within the parameters of the new travel norms. Additionally, it will also minimise instances of fraudulent identity use.”

The technology will later be merged with the MYairports app, enabling passengers to register their facial authentication even before arriving at the airport.

Foreigners will also be able to use the Immigration Autogates after the integration with the immigration system.

Other touchpoints such as retail purchases and access to airline lounge may also be implemented under the new system in the future.

Salleh added: “Our aim is to make the airport future-ready, especially when travel picks up again. We are making this technology available at the airport because we also need to restore confidence among air travel passengers and we hope to gain the cooperation of our airline partners to integrate their processes to adapt to this available technology.”