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Singapore’s Changi Airport is going passport-free in 2024 but you’ll still need your passport

Paper out, biometrics in: Singapore’s Changi Airport is going passport-free next year.
Paper out, biometrics in: Singapore’s Changi Airport is going passport-free next year. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Euronews Travel
Published on Updated
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The changes are designed for a "more seamless" system at the Asian hub, which processed more than 5 million passengers last month.

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Soon, you won’t need your passport to travel through Singapore’s Changi Airport.

Starting in 2024, the busy transport hub will replace passport checks with automated immigration and boarding processes.

Biometric technology and facial recognition will be used to allow passengers to fly without passports or boarding passes.

However, passengers will still need to carry their travel documents for boarding and landing in other countries.

How is Singapore Airport’s technology changing?

Changi has long been one step ahead in the airport stakes.

With the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, a spacious butterfly garden and a rock climbing wall, it consistently ranks as one of the best airports in the world.

Biometric technology is already part of the big airport’s futuristic feel. It uses the tech to an extent in automated lanes at immigration.

But the move to full biometrics again puts Singapore’s airport ahead of the crowds.

AP/Wong Maye-E
More than 5 million passengers travelled through Changi Airport in August this year - almost a return to 2019 levels.AP/Wong Maye-E

“Biometrics will be used to create a single token of authentication that will be employed at various automated touchpoints, from bag-drop to immigration and boarding,” the country’s communications minister Josephine Teo says.

“This will reduce the need for passengers to repeatedly present their travel documents at these touchpoints, allowing for more seamless and convenient processing.”

More than 5 million passengers travelled through Changi Airport in August this year, so speed and efficiency is key.

Teo adds that Singapore will become “one of the first few countries in the world” to introduce such changes, which are set to launch in the first half of 2024.

Singapore also has the world’s strongest passport

Singaporeans can feel particularly proud of their passports, even as the physical documents start to become less important at home.

Their country took first place in the Henley Passport Index rankings this year, knocking Japan off the top spot.

That’s because people from Singapore enjoy visa-free access to 192 travel destinations out of 227 worldwide.

The country has been rising up the ranks, gaining visa-free access to an additional 25 nations over the past 10 years.

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