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Smartgate Processes 50,000th Passenger

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Maurice Williamson
Maurice Williamson

Wellington, Feb 5 NZPA - The 50,000th passenger has been processed through the Smartgate facility at Auckland Airport just two months after it was launched, Customs Minister Maurice Williamson said today.

Smartgate uses face recognition technology and information stored in a microchip inside electronic passports to check identities and speeds up the customs process.

"Right now about 32 percent of New Zealanders coming into Auckland airport who are eligible to use Smartgate are doing so," Mr Williamson said.

"The technology has streamlined the passenger clearance process and we have improved our border processing through the application of an internationally-proven, cutting-edge technology solution."

Mr Williamson said the Auckland Airport experience matched that in Australia where the system had been introduced.

"New Zealanders using the Smartgate system have seen their travelling experience greatly enhanced, particularly those travelling trans-Tasman," he said.

"They appreciate the quick and efficient process that means they don't have to queue."

The system is operating at most international airports in Australia for arriving passengers with New Zealand and Australian electronic passport holders.

It will be rolled out at Wellington and Christchurch airports this year.

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