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Govt. To Can Passenger Cards

Passports may yet become a thing of the past Down Under for all those tech executives who trzavel, as the Department of Immigration seeks to replace incoming hard-copy passenger cards for those seeking to enter Australia with an online system to allow zero-touch border processing. It has already disposed of outgoing cards.

The final two components of the new system will see the paper-based incoming passenger card abolished and what Immigration calls “exit marshalling process” automated.

The first phase of this will see Immigration replace its fleet of smartgates with an “automated border control system” that matches incoming travellers against a database of facial images collected from airlines’ advanced passenger processing systems, removing the need for travellers to present a passport on arrival.

The tender comes hot on the heels of legislation that changed border crossing laws so all travellers could use a contactless, facial biometric option for identity verification and processing. The department wants 90 percent of international travellers to be processed by automated means by 2020.