South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has celebrated the success of advance passenger processing (APP), the border management solution from air transport IT specialist SITA, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The system, which was implemented in just nine months, successfully kept ‘undesirables’ from entering the country during the tournament.
More than 1.5m passengers were processed in June and July using SITA’s technology, 350 were subjected to extra examination while more than 60 people were stopped from entering because their names appeared on South Africa’s visa and entry stop list or watch lists provided by Interpol and soccer’s governing body FIFA.
SITA’s solution, iBorders APP, effectively moves the country’s borders to the point of departure. It allows airlines and governments to transfer passport details in an interactive and real-time manner enabling instructions to be sent as passengers check-in, to prevent those who would be denied entry to the country from boarding the aircraft. As it eliminates fines associated with the transportation of inadmissible travellers, airlines flying to South Africa are expected to save millions of dollars in processing and repatriation fees.
Home Affairs director General Mkuseli Apleni, said: “We selected SITA’s APP solution because it has been successfully used in other parts of the world. It has exceeded our expectations ensuring the smooth arrival of the hundreds of thousands of visitors to South Africa for the FIFA World Cup.
“Because only those who were authorised to enter South Africa boarded the planes, we were saved the expense of processing unauthorised visitors. It also allowed us to concentrate our efforts on those suspects, hooligans and others, which posed a real risk to the country, speeding up the entry process for the majority of passengers upon their arrival.”
SITA CEO Francesco Violante, said: “We agreed the contract with the South African government for iBorders advanced passenger processing and just nine months later the system went live. Now after the World Cup the results speak for themselves. The security of the country, and all the fans, was significantly increased by the intelligent pre-clearance of passengers.”
SITA iBorders APP is the only commercially available proven, interactive advance passenger information system in the world. In addition to the benefits it brings to governments, it reduces administration and turnaround costs for airlines and eliminates fines associated with the transportation of incorrectly documented or otherwise inadmissible travellers.
Violante added: “Governments, airlines and passengers all benefit from the interactive and real-time process of APP. Security is increased, carriers’ costs are reduced and the overwhelming majority of visitors who are legitimate travellers experience smoother, faster processing. These benefits can be enjoyed not only during major world sporting events like the World Cup and the Olympics but every day of the year.”
The government will continue to use the SITA APP system ensuring continued high levels of security and smooth arrivals for visitors to South Africa. SITA’s APP solution was first introduced in Australia in the late 1990s to handle the visitors attending the 2000 Olympics and is now also used in Bahrain, Kuwait and New Zealand. SITA has also supported development of the US advance passenger information system (APIS) Quick Query solution to simplify adoption by airlines.