Traveling internationally can be stressful, but those going through one of the world’s busiest airports will soon have one less thing to worry about: having their passports out.
Singapore passed a new law this week to allow passport-free travel as soon as the first half of 2024. In place of passports, Singapore Changi Airport will use biometric sensors for passengers departing the island nation.
“This will reduce the need for passengers to repeatedly present their travel documents at these touchpoints, allowing for more seamless and convenient processing,” said Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information & Second Minister for Home Affairs, in a speech to parliament on Monday.
It’s good news for travelers, since the airport is often ranked as one of the best in the world. Travelers can enjoy a rooftop pool, the tallest indoor waterfall and a butterfly garden.
In August, over 5.15 million passengers made their way through the airport. Traveler volume is only expected to keep rising to pre-pandemic levels, especially as a new terminal is being built.
“Our immigration systems must be able to manage this high and growing volume of travellers efficiently and provide a positive clearance experience, while ensuring our security,” Teo said.
The switch will help the city-state strengthen its border protection, she said.
Singapore Changi Airport already uses facial recognition software at some of its immigration checkpoints.
There are some U.S. airports and airlines that also use biometric technology, the first being one of Delta Air Lines’ terminals in Atlanta. Dubai Airports is another introducing passport-free travel, which will be implemented later this year with Emirates airline.
Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Singapore Changi Airport to have passport-free travel