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Australian international airports to have automated, contactless clearance process for arriving travellers within 3 years

Image credit: Vision-Box

All international airports in Australia will soon have an automated ‘contactless’ traveller clearance process for travellers arriving into the country.

A three-year contract has been awarded to Vision-Box to deliver the the next generation of Automated Border Control passenger-processing technology. In 2015 the Australian Government had selected the company to provide biometric border control SmartGates at all Airports’ departures. Border control solutions from Vision-Box are being used in United Kingdom, USA, Australia, The Netherlands, Brazil, Qatar, Indonesia, Portugal, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Venezuela and more.

The innovations will assist the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to collect and verify biometric data from all passengers arriving at Australian International Airports.

It will also deliver a new capability that will enable known travellers to self-process through the border without the need to physically use a passport (contactless), entirely relying on facial recognition technology.

At the moment, SmartGates are used in arrival as well as departure at Australian international airports. In addition to Australians, passengers holding ePassports from 14 eligible countries can use the arrival SmartGates. An ePassport has a microchip embedded in the travel document and an international ePassport symbol on the front cover. The microchip contains the same personal information that is on the photo page of the ePassport, including a digitised photograph. Facial recognition technology is used in the second step of a two-step process to match a captured image of the person with the ePassport photograph.

The Departures SmartGates at major international airports can be used by all passengers, regardless of nationality or age to self-process through passport control.

The new solution will entirely eliminate the need for physical use of the passport.

This is a part of DIBP’s Seamless Traveller program. In December 2016, DIBP released a Request for Tender (RFT) for the supply and implementation of a new automated border control solution to replace and improve the current process for arriving air travellers at Australia’s international airports. The stated objective was for 90 per cent of travellers to self-process using an automated solution.

Automated processing technology will not only provide a simpler, more convenient process for travellers through border processing while maintaining border security, but it will also enable the Australian Border Force to meet the challenges of growing traveller numbers.

Biometrics for border processing in Dubai and Singapore

In June it was announced that new smart immigration gates will be installed at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 to supplement the existing e-gates, and manned immigration counters. They will enable travellers to forgo the additional step of getting their passports and boarding passes manually checked by a security officer before they go through immigration, as these checks will be automatically integrated within the biometric validation as travellers pass through the new smart gates.

Automated Immigration Gates (AIG) have been installed at the new Terminal 4 of Singapore’s Changi Airport, which is going to start trials with selected commercial flights. The AIG is part of a suite of Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) options at T4. It is an enhanced version of the automated immigration lanes currently being used at existing terminals. they will use a dual facial and thumbprint biometric recognition system. The passenger’s photo is captured and matched against the one in the passport. Only Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and travellers who have registered with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority can use the AIG. They must also be at least six years old.

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