Smartgates to undergo $7.9m expansion

The automated border processing technology, Smartgate, is slated for a $7.9 million expansion over the next two years, as announced by home affairs and justice minister, Jason Clare.

Smartgate technology uses a combination of electronic information stored on e-passports and face recognition to perform customs and immigration checks.

It will enable more Australians to pass customers by using an e-passport instead of waiting to be stamped by a customs officer.

The expansion will see an additional 20 Smartgate terminals installed, with Sydney and Melbourne international airports to be the first recipients due to their high passenger volumes. Brisbane and Gold Coast airports are next to follow.

“About 50 per cent of eligible Australians and New Zealanders arriving from overseas currently use Smartgate,” Clare said in a statement

“These extra Smartgates will enable us to increase that to up to 80 per cent of eligible users by the end of 2015.”

According to Clare, 78 per cent of Australians currently have an e-passport, with all Australians to have a chip in their passport #8212; a requirement to use Smartgate #8212; by 2015.

The rollout of Smartgates was completed at all Australian international airports in July 2011, following initial trials of the technology in Sydney and Melbourne from November 2002 to June 2005. Brisbane International Airport led the commercial rollout of the technology.

Follow Diana Nguyen on Twitter: @diananguyen9

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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