The Australian government is planning to enhance inbound passenger processing at Sydney airport by installing additional SmartGate infrastructure.
SmartGates allow Australian and New Zealand passport holders to avoid queues and clear customs at passport control by using facial recognition technology to identify passengers, allowing customs staff to concentrate on manual checks.
Sydney Airport chief executive officer Kerrie Mather said SmartGates are already delivering a better passenger experience at Sydney Airport.
"We have been working very closely with customs on implementing this new technology because it improves passenger facilitation and delivers a better passenger experience," Mather said.
"SmartGates have been increasingly popular with travellers since they were introduced in 2009, with additional gates installed in 2010 and more currently under construction."
According to the airport, more passengers are opting for SmartGates, and the number is expected to increase as the government is planning to replace all current passports with microchipped e-passports by 2015.
In the 90-second SmartGate process, the microchipped, biometric e-passports are read and then the SmartGate ticket is issued by a kiosk, before a camera compares the passenger’s face with the passport photo.
Passengers are then allowed to move to the baggage hall and submit their SmartGate ticket and incoming passenger card on exit.
"These initiatives continue to add to Sydney Airport’s customer experience," Mather said.
The government has allotted additional funding of $7.9m for the deployment of about 20 additional SmartGate self-service terminals in Australian transport hubs over the next two years, including Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast airports.
Image: The installation of additional SmartGates is intended to enhance passenger facilitation and deliver a better passenger experience at Sydney airport. Photo: courtesy of Montague Smith.