Technology from future is planned for air terminals

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Technology from future is planned for air terminals

Imagine stepping up to an immigration counter at Incheon International Airport - and not having to surrender your passport and boarding pass.

As early as the beginning of next year, passing through immigration may be as simple as having your face scanned, part of Incheon International Airport’s future initiative to be accomplished by 2023.

A pilot service of facial recognition as an alternative to passport and boarding pass checks at immigration departure counters will be launched early next year. By 2020, the Korean government will have the entire population’s faces and fingerprints stored in its database so that travelers can take full advantage of the so-called “smart pass” service.

The airport said it has formed a consultative body with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Justice to amend related laws for the overhaul.

“Using the airport will become even more comfortable when we introduce a variety of smart services,” said Chung Il-young, CEO of Incheon International Airport, in a statement. “The services have the potential to be exported to other international airports.”

With new systems, a lot of travelers won’t have to carry luggage to the airport before traveling. A logistics firm will be able to deliver your luggage for check-in at the airport starting in the latter half of next year.

The luggage only needs to go through a security check and immigration.

By 2020, the airport will introduce a tunnel that automatically scans a passenger and their luggage so that further checking in or scanning is unnecessary.

Incheon Airport will also begin using more robots in the latter half of this year. Eight artificially intelligent robots will be dispatched to Terminal 1 and six to Terminal 2. The robots can offer information about departures and arrivals and real-time transportation information from the airport as well as collect items that are deemed dangerous.

Also starting in the second half, passengers may use mobile navigation apps such as T-Map from SK Telecom to get terminal information when they enter their flight number.

Autopilot passenger shuttles will be roaming the terminals in a test run next year and robots will be in charge of valet parking from 2023. Duty-free stores at the airport will introduce augmented reality and virtual reality for shoppers next year and they will eventually operate without humans, using Internet of Things technology from 2023.

Security features of the airport will be upgraded in the latter half with smarter closed-circuit cameras that are able to cope more swiftly with fires, terrorism and crimes by detecting people’s movements.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]
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