Phones to replace passports at Australian airports

NZ Herald Staff,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 7 August 2018, 11:56AM
Australian passengers will be able to check in at airports using their phones. (Photo: Getty)
Australian passengers will be able to check in at airports using their phones. (Photo: Getty)

From today, Passengers flying out of Australia will no longer have to queue up and show their passport for a boarding pass

In an attempt to cut waiting times at Australian airports, passengers are being allowed to check into flights using a mobile phone.

From this week, airlines flying out of Australia have been given the option to issue electronic boarding passes directly to passengers.

It's an attempt to move past queues at check-in counters full of passengers waiting to be issued with a boarding pass.

"Australia is a world leader in seamless travel and this move will allow travellers to move across our border smoothly," said Australia's Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge.

Over 21 million people departed Australia last year via its international airports. It's a number that's expected to rise.

Part of the effort to streamline an increasing number of passengers has been new technology.

Automatic smartgates are now at nearly every terminal in the country and now with improvements facial recognition and mobile communications, paper passports are beginning to look rather dated.

"These increasing volumes mean we are always looking for ways to clear legitimate travellers efficiently and seek out those of interest to law enforcement," Mr Tudge said.

This new development comes after several other ventures into 'passport-free' airport travel.

In July Qantas began trialling facial recognition for passengers flying out of Sydney airport, as a replacement for the tried and tested passport test.

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