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Australia set to change the face of travel

Travellers heading to Australia may no longer be required to show their passports, with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) set to introduce biometric recognition of the face, iris and or fingerprints.

The transition is part of the Seamless Traveller project by the DIBP, which aims to transform the border experience for travellers and move towards document-free travel.

When implemented, the new technology is set to abolish the need for passenger cards and passport control, replacing the need for manned desks and streamlining the whole process.

The Australian Government has outlined that it hopes to introduce the new technology by 2020, with the system processing 90% of travellers automatically.

If implemented successfully, the DIBP could be the first in the world to introduce biometric recognition into their airports.

Such a process is possible due to the huge amount of passenger data already created by travellers, including ticket information, travel history and criminal records – which is sourced globally and then analysed.

In total, the process is expected to cost around $94 million over five years, with a trial set to take place in July 2017 at Canberra Airport, before the tech is then introduced at a major airport in Sydney or Melbourne in November.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has previously said that advancements in border technology would enable Border Force officials to concentrate resources on passengers of interest.

Figures show that 40 million air and sea travellers were processed by the Australian Border Force in the 2015-2016.

Michael Pezzullo, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, said: “In our future operating model, we will seek to build ever less intrusive, more seamless and faster processing processes and systems for the legitimate and law-abiding majority of travellers and traders.”

If you’re thinking of travelling abroad this year, be sure to organise your gadget travel insurance in advance.

Date Created: 24 January 2017

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