Left: Nicky Wagner, customs minister for the government of New Zealand
The government of New Zealand has installed nine new SmartGates at Auckland Airport to help expedite passenger departures. The installation is part of a wider NZ$6.6m (US$4.4m) project to install 29 new gates at Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown airports over the next 12-18 months.
Nicky Wagner, customs minister for the government of New Zealand, said, “The first nine new gates are now up and running at Auckland Airport in time for Christmas. As 75% of international travelers pass through Auckland Airport, it made sense to introduce them here in time for the busy season.
“The first of their kind in New Zealand, this next generation technology performs passport and emigration checks at the gate, making it quicker and easier for passengers. The new technology incorporates the passport scanner into the gate, eliminating the need for the kiosk and ticket. Departing passengers scan their passport and step up to the biometric scanner, which is faster and more efficient than the current two-step process.
“Having nine new gates more than doubles the airport’s customs capacity for departing passengers. The four previous SmartGates are being put to good use too – they have been relocated, so arriving passengers also have more gates from next week.
“The expansion and modernization of SmartGate will help manage the increasing number of travelers, which is expected to grow by 2.3 million to about 13.3 million by 2019. The new gates ensure legitimate travelers can enjoy faster border processing and officers can focus more on the high-risk travelers,” concluded Wagner.
SmartGates were first installed in New Zealand at Auckland Airport in 2009, and have since served nearly 15 million passengers.