23 Jul 2015

Speedy passport scanners for airports

2:35 pm on 23 July 2015

Customs is promising swifter processing of visitors in and out of the country with the introduction of new passport gates.

Customs Minister Nicky Wagner at a SmartGate.

Customs Minister Nicky Wagner at a SmartGate. Photo: Supplied

The Government is spending more than $6 million on 29 SmartGates that it says are more efficient than the current model.

With the 22 SmartGates currently in use, passengers have their passport scanned at a kiosk before they step through a gate for a facial scan.

The new one-step version incorporates the passport scanner into the gate.

Customs Minister Nicky Wagner said it would help the agency keep up with forecasted growth.

"This is faster, it saves space in the airport, it moves our passengers through faster.

"It's good for Customs itself with the security and speed, but also it's good for our airports and good for our tourism industry. We don't want huge spaces covered with kiosks."

She said the gates will be installed at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports over the next two years.