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Australia to make airport immigration lines a thing of the past

Jan 24, 2017 10:37pm AST

No one likes airport immigration lines. I repeat, no one!

Sometimes they’re not bad, but when an influx of flights arrive around the same timeframe, lines can get extremely long in a heart beat.

Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection wants to eradicate the use of passports and passenger immigration card at its international airport gateways with the help of a combination biometric scanning technology and a more robust passenger database.

They want to build a ‘contactless’ system in which these scanners can process people based on a combination of key identifying factors like their face, iris, and/or fingerprints.

It doesn’t sound too farfetched as many governments already have an extensive database of basic biometric markers such as our facial photos and fingerprints.

Considering that anyone could easily answer a few questions at the customs desk, it really does bring to question the need for these officers, when passengers themselves could simply be scanned for entry in just a minute or two.

John Coyne, head of border security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said that such an initiative could be a world first, and that they hope that at least 90% of incoming international travelers could use this new method for entry into Australia by 2020.

The idea reminded me of the scanners used in ‘The Minority Report’ which delivered customized messaged based on the humans it targeted.

They hope that one day the process will be so easy that the experience of deboarding and walking into the airport would be the same as if you flew domestic.

Human intervention would only be needed in cases where passengers were not listed on the database, or in a situation where a traveler may have a red flag on their account.