Australian Customs Starts eGate Trial Run

8th Sep 2014

Travelers may be pleasantly surprised upon their departure at the Brisbane Airport as Australian Customs has started to use an innovative automated system on a trial basis to screen passengers passing through the customs gate.

The new eGate passport readers will be on a trial run starting this early September for two weeks until the middle of the month when the system officially starts to function as a permanent facility. The new system works almost similar to the existing SmartGate which screens arriving passengers.

The eGate facility will shorten and speed up the process by customs officers in screening passengers leaving Australia through the airport. In doing so, passengers are no longer required to queue up to allow customs officers to check their travel documents.

During the trial period, passengers on selected flights only of Air New Zealand and Qantas will get the chance to sample the new system. If there are no glitches during the test period, the Customs office will then proceed with the official installation of the system, covering all departing passengers on all flights through Brisbane Airport.

The Customs office, though, refused to divulge in which particular flights and specific dates the system shall be used. A Customs spokesperson, whose identity was not known, hinted that the flights will be mostly on the Trans-Tasmanian routes.

During the trial period, filled-up departure cards will still be required and should be dropped into a box near the eGates. However, according to its National Manager of Passenger Policy and Practice at the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, Robyn Miller, this particular process will soon be omitted as soon as the eGate system is officially launched.