MAHB to spend RM100 million in ambitious plan to transform airport experience

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) is investing heavily in new technologies to enhance airport security, including facial recognition and real-time information sharing.

MAHB group CEO Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin said over the next 3 years, the company expects to spend RM100 million on a slew of new technologies.

“The new technologies are for three areas of airport operations but ultimately they all serve to ensure a better, more convenient and smoother airport experience for passengers.”

One of them, he said, is the single token facial recognition system, which essentially does away with manual and multiple checks on passenger details at the airport.

“Right now, after you check-in, you have to keep producing your passport and boarding pass at the immigration and boarding gates. With this technology, there is no longer the need to keep taking out your passport at every checkpoint and you can get to the boarding gates faster.”

MAHB is also upgrading its MYAirports app. The app contains flight details and credentials, and serves as a single-point of reference.

“So again, if the need arises, they don’t even have to produce their passport, just use the app because everything is there.”

Raja Azmi said MAHB will be collaborating with tech-giant Huawei to introduce 5G internet coverage at the airport.

He said the move would allow faster internet access at airports nationwide.

Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin.

Raja Azmi also spoke on the development of the Airport Collaborative Decision-Making System using big data analytics.

The system allows MAHB to collect information from all stakeholders in the airport and share it on real-time basis for better planning.

“So for example, if there is a flight delay coming in from overseas, all the different stakeholders from immigration to baggage-handlers to the Air Traffic Control will be aware at the same time and deploy resources accordingly.”

Giving another example, Raja Azmi said the immigration department will be informed if multiple flights are arriving late at night, so that more counters can be activated to prevent queues.

Raja Azmi said MAHB will also introduce an e-commerce platform at the airport, allowing travellers to browse and purchase in advance goods or services they may want at the airport while waiting for their flight.

“Many tourists want to bring home foods unique to Malaysia, so instead of buying it downtown and carrying it around, they can browse the e-commerce platform, buy it in advance and pick it up before they leave.”