December 15, 2014 -
The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency of Jamaica announced that it has installed automated border control kiosks, provided by air transport and government IT solutions firm SITA, at the airports in Kingston and Montego Bay to process passengers quickly and securely.
With these ABC kiosks in operation, Jamaica has become the first country in the Americas to allow passengers visiting from any international location to use kiosks for self-service immigration border clearance.
Though many other countries have biometric kiosks in operation at their airports, they have imposed limits on their use to select nationalities or members of trusted traveler programs.
“SITA’s kiosks use biometrics and work seamlessly with our existing border management systems to offer this great service – fast and secure border processing for everyone,” said Jennifer McDonald, CEO of PICA. “It was SITA’s extensive border security experience combined with its unique solution of kiosks, biometrics and border management that made it the ideal supplier to implement the system and provide the ongoing support that we need to ensure its smooth operation in the years ahead.”
Passengers of all nationalities are able to use kiosks for self-service immigration, a process that takes less than 60 seconds.
The passenger uses their passport to identify themselves and a camera on the kiosk captures their face biometric data. The passport data is then compared to the biometric captured to verify the passenger’s identity, as well as checked against government watch lists.
The passenger answers immigration questions on the kiosk touch screen and once cleared is provided with a receipt to show an immigration official as they exit the customs hall.
PICA and SITA have installed 15 kiosks in total at the country’s two busiest airports: Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
The airports bring in a combined number of nearly three million passengers each year, of which roughly 1.7 million are international visitors to Jamaica. The kiosks are expected to increase passenger throughput at the borders by almost 60%.
SITA has long been a partner of PICA for existing border security solutions, making the company an ideal choice for the kiosk implementation.