Thailand Experimenting with Airport Biometric Scanning Systems

November 2019

The Thai Ministry of Transport revealed that it is considering using biometric technology for facial scanning of air passengers in order to improve passenger experience, reduce waiting times, and increase airport security.

The Ministry announced that a working committee has been established and it is currently evaluating a smart airport initiative across five top airports, namely Krabi, Surat Thani, Udon Thani and Khon Kaen. The implementation of biometric systems at the airports would allow passengers to check in without the need to show their passports or ID cards. Biometrics are widely used at airports in Europe, the Americas and in Singapore. In the South East Asian region, Malaysia is currently studying the system.

Thailand has taken some initial steps in May 2019 by installing 2,000 devices for biometric checks at all border crossings. More recently, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded a contract for the supply of 15 million biometric e-passports over the next seven years to a consortium including Dutch company Gemalto, which is part of the Thales Group.

(Sources: Xinhua; Thai PBS World;

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