Passengers jetting out of Australia will soon experience even quicker processing, with smartgate technology set to be rolled out at the nation’s international airports.
The federal government will spend $18 million setting up 92 smartgates, adding to those now in use for processing passports of incoming passengers.
Similar to the existing automated methods already offered when returning to Australia, Smartgate will give eligible travellers the option to self-process through passport control, using the data in your ePassport and face recognition software to perform custom and immigration checks.
A total of 92 departure SmartGates will be installed across Australia’s major capital city airports by mid-2016 including Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin as well as Sydney, and also in the international zone of Cairns and Gold Coast airports.
Immigration minister Peter Dutton says the use of more technology will free up customs and border protection officers to spend more time identifying people who they want to interview in more detail, such as those suspected of leaving Australia to join terrorist groups.
The new departure SmartGates will “allow border protection officers to focus on people who pose a risk at the border, while legitimate, law abiding travellers will be processed with less manual intervention,” Dutton said.
The federal government says the new high-tech SmartGates will help face the potential threats of terrorism by freeing up airport customs and immigration officers to focus on people who may be suspects.
According to news.com.au, Dutton said stopping the terror threat from reaching Australian shores was a real and pressing concern.
“Ripping money out of customs and border protection is not a smart way to face the very imminent threat we have in relation to terrorism,” he said.