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Canberra Airport to host trials of next generation SmartGates eventually leading to contactless processing

Canberra Airport to host trials of next generation SmartGates eventually leading to contactless processing

The next generation of SmartGates
will be tested at Canberra Airport early next year, which will eventually lead
to contactless processing at Australia’s airports for international travellers.
Trials are expected to begin in Canberra in early 2018.

Initially the new SmartGates will operate in ‘contact’ mode
where travellers will insert their passport for processing.

Later, the Canberra gates will be switched to ‘contactless’
mode, enabling an increasing number of incoming passengers to pass through the
airport without having to produce their passport, with the new technology using
biometric facial authentication.

After the Canberra trial, 105 new SmartGates will be rolled
out across Australia’s international airports through 2018-19.

Each year an average of 40 million people are cleared
through the border at Australian international airports and this number is
expected to rise to 50 million in the next few years. The new generation
SmartGates will make travelling easier, processing individuals in and out of
Australia in about 20 seconds.

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 Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter
Dutton, and Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus
Taylor, visited
Canberra International Airport to see first-hand the world leading technology
the Australian Border Force (ABF) is using at the border.

The Australian Government had invested more than AU$120
million to improve the experience for passengers at the border and to ensure
Australia remains at the forefront of technological solutions to support border
protection.

“This investment has led to the establishment of an
ecosystem of sophisticated and innovative intelligence, data analytics,
biometrics and processing capabilities that seamlessly manages the movement of
people and goods across Australia’s border,” Mr. Dutton said.

“Seeing ABF officers using this state-of-the-art technology
strengthens the critical role they play, both in Australia and offshore, in
identifying individuals who cross Australia’s border. This technology is
allowing ABF officers to focus more effort on traveller interactions,
intelligence gathering and enforcement activities.”

Mr Taylor said, “I’m impressed by the innovative
technologies already in use at our airports, in particular the SmartGates which
allow the vast majority of travellers to instantly clear the border.”

In addition to SmartGates, the ABF uses a range of
innovative technologies to conduct border operations more broadly. Officers at Australian
international airports have access to cutting edge X-ray equipment and a range
of drug and explosive detection technology.