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Vietnam taking steps to install facial recognition at airports

Vietnam taking steps to install facial recognition at airports

Monday, March 13, 2023, 20:56 GMT+7
Vietnam taking steps to install facial recognition at airports
Facial recognition technology is being piloted at Cat Bi International Airport in Hai Phong City, Vietnam. Photo: ACV

Authorities in Vietnam are speeding up the application of facial recognition technology at local airports in a bid to reduce queue times and pressure on manpower and infrastructure.

Fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, and iris recognition are the three most common methods for passenger identification at airports. 

Among them, facial recognition is favored by airports and airlines thanks to its superiority in safety features and recognition speed.

Huynh Bao Quoc, head of the information technology department at the state-run Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), stated that the ACV is testing a passenger authentication system via their electronic IDs.

The method is being tested at Cat Bi International Airport in northern Hai Phong City, with the system in place on February 1.

A separate lane is arranged in the security screening area for passengers traveling on domestic flights and using electronic ID cards.

In this lane, passengers are identified via facial recognition.

“This is to reduce flight check-in time, increase accuracy, detect passengers using fake documents, and identify people who are wanted or banned from flying," Quoc elaborated.

It is part of a road map for digital transformation at airports in Vietnam, he continued.

Many passengers said that Vietnam's facial recognition system still falls behind other countries.

In Thailand, it takes only 30 seconds for arrivals to scan their passports, take fingerprints, and scan their faces, said Hong Nga, a resident in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Heathrow Airport in the UK allows passengers to check in online and provide data by taking pictures of their faces and passports with their personal phones, according to Nguyen Son from Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

At Japan’s Narita Airport, passengers can use the ‘Face Express’ for their boarding procedures using facial recognition technology, Son continued.

Passengers only need to check in at an automatic kiosk that can crossmatch their passport photographs with facial images, he added.

It is quite late for Vietnam to start applying technology at local airports at this point, an airline official told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

The application of biometric technology is very complex and requires the participation of many parties.

It is difficult, but must be done to attract more visitors, he stated.

However, it may take a longer time for this technology to be applied at major airports in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang, as these are much more crowded compared to Cat Bi, he said.

“We may have to deal with long queues at check-in areas of both domestic and international flights for at least a few more years.”

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Duy Khang - Cong Trung / Tuoi Tre News


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