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Second step in Automated Border Crossing programme

Media Release - Joint media release from New Zealand Customs Service, Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL), Department of Labour (DoL)

3 March 2006

Second step in Automated Border Crossing programme

The New Zealand Customs Service, Auckland International Airport (AIAL), and Department of Labour (DoL), have jointly issued a Request For Proposal to short-listed technology service providers for a pilot of the Automated Border Crossing (ABC) programme at Auckland International Airport.

Customs, AIAL, and DoL are seeking to trial the use of biometrics technologies (facial recognition, iris scans, fingerprints, etc) at self-service kiosks for processing travellers at Auckland International Airport.

The RFP, which follows on from an earlier RFI to establish interest, is seeking detailed and innovative solutions from short-listed technology providers.

"The RFP is the next step towards us assessing what industry solutions are available to implement this initiative," says Customs group manager information services, Peter Rosewarne.

In the 2004/05 financial year Customs screened more than 8.2 million people arriving in or leaving New Zealand. The aim of the ABC programme is to establish whether faster, more efficient facilitation of low-risk international travellers can be achieved by a one-stop process, while ensuring there are no increased risks at the border.

The ABC programme will be conducted in a number of phases with the first stage being a pilot involving New Zealand frequent flyers who will be invited to take part. This phase will be followed by a review and decision on whether to proceed to subsequent phases. The subsequent phases will extend to travellers of other nationalities.

The RFP closes late March and it is expected the successful vendor will be identified by the end of June. The pilot is expected to begin later this year.

David Hansen, Auckland Airport’s general manager of operations says that there are a number of benefits of going to the new technology. “When this project is rolled out, it will be of benefit to passengers, Customs and all airport staff. It will make travelling through Auckland Airport faster and easier for everyone and is just one of a number of technology initiatives occurring at Auckland Airport.”


- This will not spell the end to a human welcome, it simply will allow those who wish to use a faster process to do so. An analogy can be made with ATMs at banks - most people use them to withdraw cash, but the human element of a bank teller is still available for those who wish to use it.

- If the programme proceeds to permanent implementation, the use of the system will remain voluntary.

- There are ongoing trials and deployments using biometrics technologies worldwide.

© Scoop Media

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