Perth Airport has become Australia’s second international airport to begin using new facial biometrics ready smartgates that will eventually allow travellers to pass through without producing a passport.
The next generation smartgates are being progressively deployed as part of the country's new automated biometric border control solution provided by Vision-Box.
The Department of Home affairs signed a $22.5 million deal with the border technology vendor – the current provider of newer smartgate technology at departure gates – back in July 2017 for the new solution that will replace its fleet of ageing Morpho (now Idemia) arrivals smartgates.
The new solution will use biometrics to match individuals against facial images stored in airlines’ advanced passenger processing systems, removing the need for travellers to present their passports at the gate to clear immigration.
The new smartgates are already in place at Canberra Airport, which became the first international airport in the country to benefit from the next technology in early 2018.
They have operated in ‘contact’ only mode since they were deployed and still require travellers to insert their passports to be processed.
However initial ‘face on the move’ passenger recognition technology trials using the automated solution last year correctly matched 94 percent of travellers without any identification errors.
No date has been given for when the contactless mode will be switched on.
But the department has now confirmed that the next generation arrivals smartgates were rolled out to a second international airport late last year.
A spokesperson for the Australian Border Force told iTnews that the “series 2” smartgates had been deployed in Qantas’s new international wing at Perth Airport’s Terminal 3.
The terminal serves the recently introduced non-stop Qantas flight between Perth and London, as well as other services to Singapore and Auckland.
However the spokesperson wouldn’t indicate if the smartgates remained in ‘contact’ only mode or if any ‘face on the move’ trial had occurred, only that testing was underway.
The department plans to have deployed the new arrivals smartgates to all international airports by the end of June 2020, with Brisbane Airport the next to have them deployed.
It hopes that 90 percent of international travellers will be processed through automated solutions by the end of 2020.
A biometric data capture exercise using the new arrival smartgates has also previously occurred at Sydney International Airport.
Sydney Airport is also currently conducting its own 'couch-to-gate' biometrics trial with select international Qantas passengers.