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A world-first, new self-processing system will replace passports with face recognition at Australian airports.
Mosiqi Acharya

23 Jan 2017 - 1:10 PM  UPDATED 8 Mar 2017 - 11:10 AM

In a bid to avoid paperwork, manual processing by staff and to quicken and simplify processing times for travellers, Australia is introducing a self-processing system at its major airports and sea ports this year.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is currently seeking tenders for a self-processing system which will use fingerprints, iris or facial structure recognition in place of passport.

Travellers will be scanned and approved to enter the country based on these biometrics than a passport.

The plan is to introduce this new system this year, first in Canberra which sees limited international flights and later roll out across country’s airport. By March 2019, this self-processing system will be able to process 90% of the travellers.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said this new system will also boost security at the nation’s borders and it will be easier to detect threats. 

"Already we know from the money we've invested into biometrics collections that that is a much more reliable collection than we have with people just scanning manually passports," he told ABC.

"So there is the ability through this technology to improve detections of people that might be coming into our country to do the wrong thing."

Besides reducing time and making it quicker and easier for people entering and leaving Australia, Mr Dutton said this $78 million upgrade will also likely boost tourism.

He however added that people will still have to carry their passport.

"In many cases that will mean people, whilst they'll still have to carry their passport, may not have to present their passport at all in the long term," Mr Dutton said.

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