Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 is opening by the end of 2017, and it’ll be Singapore’s first checkpoint with biometric technology for facial, iris and fingerprint scanning. Implemented to tighten border security in light of terrorist attacks at other airports, multiple biometric scans will be progressively put into place over two years at all checkpoints, starting with T4. But don’t expect all the biometric capabilities to be immediately introduced at T4 (these things take time); right now, immigration counters use fingerprint verification methods.
To do this, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will accumulate iris images from citizens and permanent residents of Singapore whenever they apply for and collect identity cards and passports, while foreigners will go through other security initiatives like fingerprint scanning upon arrival and departure for verification against ICA records. These visitors can also use the automated immigration lanes when they leave the country, giving officers at the counters more time to focus on unknown travellers like first-time visitors.
According to The Straits Times, eventually all visitors to Singapore will be screened before they land, as airlines will display the complete list of names and personal information of travellers on their flights.
As one of the world’s best airports, Changi saw about 58.7 million passengers come through last year — that number is expected to increase to about 80 million yearly by 2025.