Passports and visas for travel between Australia and New Zealand could be canceled as calls grow to modernize border systems
Travelers between Australia and New Zealand could see changes as insiders call for facial recognition and digital arrival cards as trans-Tasman travelers avoid long queues
A major overhaul of passport and visa rules for Australians and New Zealanders has been made to make trans-Tasman travel easier.
Australia’s Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) has called for facial recognition technology to replace long lines and fill immigration cards to streamline movement between neighboring countries and create ‘a better customer experience’.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is set to discuss the proposals when he meets his New Zealand counterpart Chris Hipkins on Wednesday.
The proposal includes designated lanes and digital arrival cards for Aussies and Kiwis to avoid lengthy immigration processes.
Facial recognition technology will be integrated with travel documents so passengers can check in without passports or boarding cards.
Australia’s Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) has called for facial recognition technology to fill out immigration cards to replace long lines and streamline ‘a better customer experience’.
Passengers from New Zealand said the idea of ’passport waivers’ was attractive
The proposal includes designated lanes and digital arrival cards allowing Aussies and Kiwis to avoid lengthy immigration processes (pictured, passengers at Sydney Airport).
Passengers from New Zealand said the idea of ’passport waivers’ was attractive.
‘It’s a great idea, I was thinking how good it would be to get on a plane,’ one woman told 7News.
‘Anyway we are one big happy family, drop the passports and let’s cross quickly,’ said another passenger.
Consolidation of international and domestic terminals is also being considered as the TTF pushes for an immigration pre-clearance system to be used at the border using the latest screening technology.
Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) CEO Margie Osmond says Australian border processing systems need a major upgrade to bring them more inline with global standards.
‘We should use the trans-Tasman border as a test case, so that we can test more efficient entry and screening technologies for processing arriving passengers,’ Ms Osmond said in a statement.
‘These tools are already being used successfully in other countries to simplify air travel, reduce travel times and increase safety.
Travelers arriving in Australia are still asked to complete a paper arrival card with Biro. It should be a thing of the past in our digital age.’
He said New Zealand was Australia’s biggest market for international visitors and reforms between the two countries could ‘revolutionise’ travel to other trusted high-volume markets.
Ms Osmond called for the two countries to form a joint task force to help progress towards more seamless borders and ‘a better customer experience’.
“If urgent action is not taken, Australia risks falling behind the rest of the world,” he said.
Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram also called on Australia to modernize its border operations.
It comes as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is set to discuss the proposals when he meets his New Zealand counterpart Chris Hipkins (pictured, together earlier this year) on Wednesday.
Consolidation of international and domestic terminals is also being considered
‘Our border and all its components add nearly a trillion dollars in revenue, visitor spending and two-way trade each year,’ Mr Outram said.
‘Australia’s border is actually one of our country’s greatest assets, but we’re not making the most of it.’
Australian Traveler publication co-founder Quentin Long said the new reforms were ambitious.
‘Logistically it’s very, very difficult to execute, it takes a lot of work and a lot of thought, it’s possible but it takes a lot of work,’ he said.