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ICA’s New Automated Lanes Can Now Clear Travellers Using Wheelchairs and Family Groups of Up to Four Persons

               As part of ICA’s New Clearance Concept (NCC) to make automated immigration clearance the norm at the checkpoints, ICA has introduced a new automated lane - the Special Assistance Lane (SAL) - at selected passenger halls in Changi Airport.[1] The SAL will enable travellers using wheelchairs and family groups of up to four persons (e.g. parents with young children) to enjoy the convenience of automated immigration clearance.[2] Singapore is the first country in the world to introduce an automated lane that allows multiple travellers to perform self-immigration clearance as a group.

2.            Currently, travellers using wheelchairs and family groups will need to proceed to the manual counters for immigration clearance. With the SAL, such travellers can now use automated lanes and perform immigration self-clearance with their primary biometric identifiers (iris and facial).[3] ICA officers will be at hand to assist travellers who require assistance while using the SAL. The SAL is currently available to Singapore residents (Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders), and will be extended to eligible foreign visitors from March 2023.[4]

Design-Thinking and Trials Conducted to Construct the SAL

3.            To ensure the SAL is well designed to meet the needs of travellers using wheelchairs as well as family groups, ICA worked with the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) to conduct design-thinking workshops and virtual reality simulations. Physical sessions were also conducted with persons of reduced mobility to identify potential challenges that such travellers may face when using the SAL. This included the width of the lane as well as the placement and angles of the passport and biometric scanners. Feedback from the sessions was factored into the final design of the SAL to ensure that it is user-friendly, and intuitive for travellers.

4.            Trials were also conducted with HTX to determine the optimal placement of cameras and biometric scanners in the SAL, to accurately detect the number of travellers as well as ensure that the biometrics of each traveller can be clearly captured. ICA will continue to refine the SAL and user experience based on travellers’ feedback.

Making Automated Immigration Clearance the Norm

5.            The SAL provides travellers using wheelchairs and family groups the convenience of automated immigration clearance. As more travellers clear through automated lanes, ICA officers can be redeployed to take on enhanced job roles and focus more on border security functions such as profiling, assessment, and investigation work.

6.            Superintendent Tan Kah Wee, Head of New Clearance Concept Office, ICA, said, “The SAL is a new initiative that allows travellers who require wheelchairs and family groups to also enjoy the smooth and seamless convenience of self-clearance using automated lanes. ICA is now one step closer to realising the NCC, where automated clearance will be the norm.”

16 DECEMBER 2022

[1] Currently, SALs are available at the Terminal 1 Departure Hall as well as the Terminal 2 Arrival and Departure Halls. ICA will progressively install SALs at the other Changi Airport terminals, as well as the passenger halls at the land and sea checkpoints.
[2] Children below 6 years old will need to be assisted by ICA officers at the SAL.
[3] Fingerprints will be used as a secondary biometric identifier for travellers who are unsuccessful in their iris and facial scans.
[4] The eligibility criteria for usage of automated lanes by foreign visitors can be found on ICA’s website.

Special Assistance Lanes (SAL)