Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Malaysia to introduce biometric checks for Sepang flights


KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's Immigration Department plans to introduce biometric checks on board flights at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang, in what it says will be the first of its kind in the world. The pilot project is expected to start next month.

Immigration Director-General Alias Ahmad said that passengers cleared on board their planes will not be required to clear immigration again once inside the terminal.

Mr Alias said his department will first work with AirAsia, the LCCT's main operator, and expand the programme if it proves successful. The on-board checks will begin with flights considered low-risk.

"We hope all passengers would have already been checked when they land at the LCCT," Mr Alias told Malaysian newspaper The Star on Saturday. "This will reduce congestion in the terminal."

The LCCT handles up to 20 flights and 3,800 passengers an hour during peak periods. Travellers have complained of queueing for up to 45 minutes to clear immigration at the LCCT. Mr Alias said that waiting times at immigration counters has been brought down to no more than 15 minutes currently.

LCCT's operator, Malaysia Airports Holdings, expects the terminal to serve about 18 million passengers this year, an increase of 20 per cent of its traffic last year. Agencies

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