Passport scanners and paper cards will soon be thing of the past at the international airports in Australia. Australian government plans a total revamping of its immigration and customs system through which technology will replace human interfacing for international travelers at its airports.
As a part of its ambitious plans to introduce complete digitalization at airports Department of Immigration and Border Protection will seek a digital process that will not require immigrants and international travelers to produce their passports. The staff at the airports will be replaced by automatic triage and electronic stations.
This digitalization process will be much more advanced than the current Smart gates that have been introduced at certain airports that digitally scan the passports. These gates that were launched a decade ago will soon be outdated with the latest system that will be ‘contactless’, as quoted by the SMH.
The digitalization process will introduce biometric identification of iris, face or fingerprints that will be verified with the data present in the system. It is planned to have the automatic system by 2020 wherein human involvement will be eliminated completely for 90% of the international travelers.
John Coyne, Head of border security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute has said that Australia will be the first nation on the globe to have this total digitalization of immigration system. The superior migration officials in the Australian government have had this long cherished vision to digitalize the immigration at international airports.
They would like to facilitate the arrival of international travelers in a manner that they can comfortably access the international airports similar to domestic airports, added Coyne.
Over 100 million dollars have been allocated for the Seamless traveler project launched in 2015 over a period of five years. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has now planned the most ambitious stage of the project that will transform the experience of the international travelers.
The preliminary iterations of the technology will assess arriving travelers through a corridor and not individual gates said, Dr. Coyne. The biometrics will be captured and verified without halting the passenger even once. He added that the department’s ability to control huge data has increased manifold and biometrics have now become the latest trend in the immigration system.
The complete digitalization is planned to be launched on a pilot basis at the Canberra airport in July 2017. This will be later extended to major international airports at Melbourne or Sydney by November and the rollout process is expected to be completed by March 2019.
Dr. Coyne elaborated on the process and said that the availability of enormous data of the travelers has made it possible to achieve this innovation. This includes travel history, criminal records and ticket information that has been availed globally and assessed in the back room.
When it comes to modernizing of the technology at airports, Australia was miles ahead when compared with the airports at the UK or the US that can be termed as the improved version of the previous century, said Coyne.