JOHOR BARU: In congratulating and applauding AirAsia and Senai International Airport, YB Datuk Nur Jazlan Bin Mohamed, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs said that AirAsia’s Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (FACES) is essential in dealing with changes in the world today, especially when it comes to the issues of migration, transnational crime and issues of social and cultural change.

“For example in Johor because of the development of the Iskandar Economic Zone, we expect the state to grow exponentially in the next few years and when it grows it will attract a lot of people from the ASEAN region and all over the world to come here to participate in the economic development of the Iskandar project.

“This system could help tremendously in many ways in addition to assisting AirAsia’s passengers through speeding up the check-in and boarding procedures; it could assist in identifying people who come in and out of the country through this airport,” Nur Jazlan said.

However FACES is not at the moment linked to the Immigration system under his ministry.

While praising the cooperation and collaboration between AirAsia and Senai International Airport in implementing such an advanced biometric system, the Deputy Home Minister also expressed concerns with the security of the personal data that is collected, citing a recent report that personal data of mobile phone subscribers had been breached.

Nur Jazlan hopes that the airline’s data protection measures are strong and secure and no breaches can occur.

In a statement, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia and Co-Group CEO of AirAsia X said; “Airports are typically the worst part of flying. FACES marks our latest effort to make the on-ground experience more seamless and less stressful by using cutting edge biometric technology to authenticate guests. With FACES, your face is your passport, making it a breeze to clear the gate and board your flight.”

“We hope the success of FACES here will serve as an inspiration and we are keen to work with other airports in Malaysia to revolutionise the way people travel with this technology and make flying enjoyable again,” he added.

Aireen Omar, Deputy Group CEO (Digital, Transformation, Corporate Services) of AirAsia explained that passengers have to go through a one-time enrolment process where they put in their MyKads or passports in a document reader, look at the camera which then takes a picture and creates a biometric token. According to Aireen the process takes less than a minute.

“Once the enrolment process is completed, the process of check-in to boarding using the latest biometric facial recognition technology without the need for a boarding pass and travel documents because everything is captured at the point that you have enrolled your face,” she said.

Group Managing Director of MMC Corporation Berhad, which operates the airport, Dato’ Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said in a statement; “It is an honour for Senai Airport to be selected as the first airport in Malaysia to pilot this cutting-edge technology. We are forecasting the passenger traffic to increase by 16% to 3.6 million this year.”

Currently there is one enrolment kiosk and three self-boarding gates in Senai Airport.

After the initial enrolment, AirAsia’s passengers may use the biometric gates for all flights as long as their identity document remains valid. Upon expiry of the identity document, guests will need to update the enrolment record with a new valid document.

Source: The Iskandarian