Improved border security, faster border clearance and reduced cost – the must have Holy Grail for airports


How enabling technologies can help Australia’s airports achieve all three

CaptureThe recent focus on improvements in border security is hardly surprising given the very real terrorism threat of foreign fighters and the growing socio-economic dangers posed by individuals attempting to enter Australia under false pretences. As a result the demand for improved border security means airports must do more to ensure the safety of Australian travellers.

The significant projected growth in international cargo1 and passenger2 volumes (on which the Australian economy is highly dependent), has amplified the demand for great speed and efficiency in border clearance.

On top of these demands, budgetary pressures and resource limitations at our airports and seaports are now mandating dramatic cost efficiencies in the way Australia handles passenger and cargo clearance.

For airports, an important first step in tackling these issues has been the establishment of a single department responsible for Immigration and Border Control and the creation of the Australia Border Force as the operational arm of that Department.

This gives airports and border agencies the opportunity to actively take steps to improve border security, achieve faster clearance and create greater efficiency.

However, organisational and personnel change alone are not sufficient, and failure to overcome all three issues, security, process efficiencies and budget constraints, is not an option. Not in Australia. Not in any growing economy.

Australia will only succeed in tackling these challenges through the use of enabling technologies. The future of improved border security

One such enabling technology is the automated clearance eGate. eGates reduce queuing and speed traveller clearance. While eGates have been deployed and available to some arriving air travellers in Australia for years, it is only now upgrading and expanding its fleet of eGates to process more travellers.

Another key enabling technology uses advanced biometrics to positively identify individuals who enter or depart Australia. Again, Australia was an early adopter of biometrics for border security, and facial biometrics is used by eGates to verify travellers against the biometric data stored in ePassports. Fingerprint and face biometrics are also used with some visa applications to detect fraud and check against watch lists of known criminals or visa offenders.

However, other countries like the US, Singapore and Malaysia have taken this further by capturing biometrics of travellers at the point of border entry/exit and conducting real-time searches of biometric databases to identify individuals on watch lists (e.g., known criminals) and to detect individuals who are using multiple identities or travel documents… Click HERE to find out more about this article