If you’ve ever stressed about missing a flight while in a never-ending queue of passengers waiting to check-in, good news: In an effort to shorten passenger wait times, airports across the country are reportedly expanding paperless boarding procedures.
‘Ultimately, facial recognition could serve as the only means of identification and be applied to the entire journey after the initial validation of a passenger’s identity,’ Liang Jia, deputy manager of ancillary services at the e-commerce division of China Southern Airlines, told China Daily
Currently, passengers receive e-boarding passes with their allocated seats on them before take-off. They can then board flights by showing these passes and their identity documents. Liang said that this has already been implemented in 22 cities, including Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
Additionally, Shenzhen International Airport started a pilot project in December where passengers with good safety credit records, based on data provided by aviation and public service authorities, can experience faster security checks. According to data from the airport, wait times for those security check lines now hover around five minutes and five seconds.
In a prediction by the International Air Transport Association
, China is slated to surpass the United States to become the biggest air transport market in the world by 2024 or 2025, with the number of annual passengers moving through Chinese airports expected to hit 927 million, according to Qianzhan.com.