Brisbane Airport trials digital departure card

Brisbane Airport has built into its mobile app a digital departure card system to save outgoing international passengers time filling out their departure card at the airport.

Brisbane Airport (BNE), together with Queensland University of Technology (QUT), is running a three-month trial of its digital departure card system designed for outgoing international passengers.

The digital departure card system has been built into BNE's mobile app to give passengers the ability to enter and save their personal information, as well as the profiles of other family members, within the app.

The saved information is then converted into a QR code, scanned, and printed at a tailored kiosk located at the airport's international terminal. The printed card is then signed by the passenger and collected by Customs as part of the usual departure process.

BNE said the digital departure card is expected to save passengers the need to continually fill out their departure card every time they travel from Brisbane Airport.

According to Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO and managing director, the system is expected to streamline processing and help reduce anxiety associated with departure formalities, especially for non-English-speaking travellers.

Alroe added that the Australian Customs Service and Department of Immigration and Border Protection has also recognised that there is potential for the initiative.

A team of QUT interactive and visual design students came up with the idea as part of their practical assessment. They were tasked with identifying a way to improve passenger experience at the airport.

"Filling out arrival and departure cards stood out as being a process that some people struggled with, particularly those who didn't speak or read English," said Alexander Dreiling, QUT associate professor and chair in airport innovation.