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KLIA Deploys Facial Recognition Security for Selected Flights

While there had been some chatter in 2018 of an expansion plan for the over 30-years-old Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), there have only been incremental changes since. This included new security features that would speed up the check-in and boarding process for passengers. While some features did rollout early on, like self-registration at departure, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) finally deployed facial recognition technology for KLIA.

Credit: MAHB

This new security control system, which came online in January 2022 and is only available for selected flights, will scan the faces of passengers to replace the need for boarding passes to go through the security area and boarding gate.

During this trial phase, the facial recognition system is deployed in KLIA. Notably, MAHB will be putting in this next-gen security feature at 50 self-check-in kiosks, 20 check-in counters, and 56 eGates at both KLIA and KLIA2 by end-July 2022.

Passengers who want to use facial recognition will need to register themselves at the Enrolment Totem that is installed near KLIA’s departure level entrances. During the registration, they will need to present their boarding pass and personal identification – MyKad (Malaysians) or passport (Non-Malaysians).

Interestingly, MAHB shared this in its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet: The Facial Recognition algorithm can differentiate twins. Other important details to take note off:

  • Children aged 11 years cannot use this all-new biometric system and must go through manual check-in

  • Special needs and passengers with reduced mobility are highly encouraged to not use facial recognition

  • Passengers must still check-in their oversized luggage at the personnel-manned counters

Credit: KLIA

To address concerns from security buffs and for general knowledge, MAHB shared that it will not permanently store passenger biometric data as it will be deleted three hours after flights depart.

At press time, there are no confirmed plans or teasers of any plans from MAHB to rollout this new biometric scanning option at the airports it manages.

  • This new check-in and boarding tech will be deployed in both KLIA and KLIA2

  • Passengers need to scan their faces at all touchpoints - check-in, security control, and boarding

  • This is now being under trial with selected flights

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