Flights: Qantas are trialling facial recognition software for passportless check

Qantas and Sydney Airport to trial biometric face “passport”

Sydney Airport begins 'couch-to-gate' biometrics trial

The trial will "test four key steps in the passenger journey including automated check-in, bag drop, lounge access and boarding", Sydney Airport said in a statement. Mobile check-in and automated border processing have also been proposed for future trials.

Now only Qantas passengers on select global flights are able to make use of these systems during the trial.

Tokens can be tracked at each point of a passenger's journey through the terminal, allowing Qantas, and other airlines that participate in the future, to see how many passengers for a flight have checked in or dropped off their luggage, been through security processing or are in the lounge.

The airport and the airline will be testing the "couch-to-gate" biometrics which, if successful, would mean that the passengers will be able to go through most of the stages of their trip through the airport without the need of a passport - they would only be using their faces, making the embarking process seamless. For those concerned with privacy, the airport did make some positive noises, saying that consent would be "actively sought" and that it would follow the strictest privacy standards and comply with relevant legislation.

This airport in Sydney, Austrailia will be the first one to use its application for travelling, where "your face will be your passport".

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"It will also deliver a new capability that will eventually enable known travellers to self-process through the border without producing their passport, relying wholly on facial recognition technology", the statement said.

Sydney Airport revealed the system - which it has dubbed the "fast passenger processing project" - in May.

In the future, there will be no more juggling passports and bags at check-in and digging through pockets or smartphones to show your boarding pass.

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said this is the most extensive biometrics trial to date and is part of a broader investment in technology to improve services to the 43 passengers who pass through the airport each year.

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