Australian travellers flying overseas can now use their mobile phones to check in for their flights in a bid to cut wait times at Australian airports, the federal government has announced.
The initiative, available from Monday, will allow airlines to introduce electronic boarding passes for international flights departing Australia.
The new technology means people won’t won’t need to visit check-in counters to show their passport and collect a paper boarding pass.
“Australia is a world leader in seamless travel and this move will allow travellers to move across our border smoothly,” Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge said in a statement.
More than 21 million people passed through the border at international airports on their way out of Australia last financial year, but that figure is tipped to rise.
Nearly three-in-four travellers were screened through the country’s automatic SmartGates, helping speed up the process.
“These increasing volumes mean we are always looking for ways to clear legitimate travellers efficiently and seek out those of interest to law enforcement,” Mr Tudge said.
The change follows several successful trials of mobile boarding passes for international flights, he said.
The Department of Home Affairs also plans to roll out facial recognition systems at airports, after signing a $22.5 million contract with Portugal-based Vision-Box to enable the new technology on the initial 105 SmartGates in July last year.
It comes after a number of recent flight delays at Sydney airport in March this year, where domestic and international terminals were closed due to technical issues.
Meanwhile in September 2017, check-in systems at Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra airports crashed sparking commuter chaos.