PROGRES.ID – Passports are mandatory travel documents when traveling abroad. However, not long ago, Singapore’s Changi Airport announced that passports will no longer be required starting in 2024.
Singapore has enacted new legislation that allows passport-free travel starting in 2024. Instead, the airport will use biometric sensors for passengers departing from the country. The bill also includes changes to better handle emergency situations such as pandemics, strengthen border controls, and streamline permits and approvals for foreigners and permanent residents.
“Singapore will be one of the few first countries in the world to introduce automatic and passport-free immigration permits,” said Josephone Teo, Minister for Communication, in parliament, as quoted from CNBC, Thursday (21/9/2023).
This allows for end-to-end biometric authorization, meaning passengers do not need to show their passports, tickets, and boarding passes multiple times during the boarding process.
Changi Airport Singapore Uses Biometric Sensors
Changi Airport Singapore has already been using facial recognition software at several of its immigration checkpoints.
However, this latest change will reduce the need for passengers to repeatedly show their travel documents at contact points and allow for smoother and more convenient processing.
Biometrics will be used to create a single authentication token, which will be used at various automatic contact points, from baggage collection to immigration permits and boarding, eliminating the need for physical travel documents such as boarding passes and passports.
The initial phase of this scheme is expected to be available early next year through the introduction of QR code scanning points.
However, Teo emphasized that passports are still required for many countries outside Singapore that do not offer passport-free permits.