If you're the kind of traveller who boards a plane at the last minute, Changi Airport could soon be using new technology to find you.

Singapore's Changi Airport is currently testing out facial recognition systems to help reduce delays caused by those who end up boarding the plane late. It would use cameras throughout the four terminals to locate passengers for flights who may happen to be lost - or may just be spending way too much time at the duty-free shops.

Steve Lee, Changi Airport Group’s chief information officer, told Reuters that the airport’s experiments are not from a “big brother” perspective but solve real problems.

“We have lots of reports of lost passengers...so one possible use case we can think of is, we need to detect and find people who are on the flight. Of course, with permission from the airlines,” said Lee.

Facial recognition technology is not new to Changi Airport. Its new Terminal 4 already uses it to help identify passengers who use the self-service check-in counters as well as to process immigration and boarding clearance. The application of the technology is part of Singapore's government initiative on a "smart nation," where Lee stated it should begin at the island nation's airport. "You can’t say you are a smart nation when you come to the airport and it’s not so smart," Lee added.

Changi Airport officials hope the integration of facial recognition technology would help reduce delays from late-boarding passengers to improve flight on-time departures.


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