Improve automated immigration clearance processes

I am thankful that the Government plans for the future to sustain the growth and prosperity of the new airport terminal (Changi East gears up for massive airport building works; Oct 11).

However, there is one area that Changi Airport and the immigration authorities can improve on.

My wife and I just returned from a short holiday in Perth, Australia. To our surprise, their immigration process involving the passport check was fully automated, with facial recognition.

Each visitor took less than 20 seconds to clear immigration. In contrast, our system in Changi Airport was not as smooth, and the thumbprint feature did not seem to work for some.

The reason given to us was that the thumbprints of elderly folk are usually worn out and, therefore, the computer has difficulty identifying our prints.

Hence, we have to join the queue for the manual passport check every time we travel.

If the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) insists on using the fingerprint processing system, why limit it only to the thumb?

In Hong Kong International Airport, my index finger is scanned with immediate success every time.

I recommend that ICA take a look at the Australian and Hong Kong models and install a more user-friendly system of clearance for travellers.

Hong Tack Weng

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2018, with the headline Improve automated immigration clearance processes. Subscribe