Saudi Arabia is to install e-gate systems at all its airports to improve passenger throughput and increase border control measures.

The new system, which registers information about every individual in the airport via magnetic ID cards on departure and arrival, will enable travellers to use their magnetic identity and iqama cards instead of passports to enter and exit the country.

King Khaled International Airport (KKIA) in Riyadh and King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) in Dammam will be the first to have the new system next week, according to Al-Watan.

The newspaper quoted a senior official at the Directorate General of Passports saying that citizens who fail to change their old IDs to the magnetic ones will not be able to use the computerised system.

The e-gate systems installed at KKIA and KFIA utilise biometric images of passengers by directing them to punch their cards and place their index fingers in an allocated space, taking five to seven seconds per person to process.

Saudi Arabia’s passport department will extend the new e-gate facility to other airports throughout the country.

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Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation will develop technical and strategic guidelines for future enhancements at KKIA and KFIA.

The plan is aimed at increasing its passenger handling capacity to 40 million by 2038.

Caption: The new e-gate system will be first installed at the King Khaled International Airport.