New Zealand Customs Minister Maurice Williamson and Australian Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor have today announced the start of a trial that allows passengers in New Zealand to conduct part of the arrivals process before getting onto the plane to Australia.
SmartGate kiosk (Credit: Customs)
The integration of the two countries' SmartGate systems allows adult passengers with ePassports, who are travelling from Auckland to the Gold Coast, to bypass the SmartGate kiosk at the Gold Coast if they have already used SmartGate when departing from Auckland International Airport.
"The New Zealand and Australian governments share the view that travelling across the ditch should be as much like a domestic experience as possible," Williamson said.
The trial will run until July 2012.
O'Connor said that the trial would streamline passenger processing, cutting down on queues.
"The SmartGate trans-Tasman trial aims to make it easier and more efficient for travellers to self-process at passport control," he said. "SmartGate will also help to reduce queuing by creating a more seamless border processing experience. Given the success of SmartGate, both Australia and New Zealand have planned expansions of the program at several of their international airports."