New Zealand is getting 29 more SmartGates to help ease the flow of travelers across its borders. The news comes by way of the country’s Customs Minister, Nicky Wagner.
The project is being driven by more than $6 million in funds from the country’s Future Investment Fund as part of an effort to keep pace with expected growth in tourism; current estimates predict that the Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland airports will see traveler volumes increase by about 2.3 million by the year 2019, when the total number of tourists entering the country will reach almost 12.7 million. The extra SmartGates will help to ensure that border screening is efficient as they are able to process passports automatically and all in one stop, first by scanning the traveler’s face as seen on the passport, and then by scanning and comparing the face of the traveler herself. Nine of the extra SmartGates will be set up this year, with the rest scheduled within the next couple of years.
These kinds of eGates are expanding all over the world, with the European Commission experimenting with them at the Lisbon International Airport and, just this week, an expansion announced for the Czech Republic’s eGate program at the Václav Havel airport in Prague. New Zealand, for its part, seems to be ahead of the game. With the eGates it currently has in place, the World Economic Forum has named it the sixth best country in the world for border efficiency, and the country’s leadership deserve credit for planning ahead with this expansion.
Source: Scoop Independent News
July 23, 2015 – by Alex Perala