THE cruise industry is working with the Australian Border Force (ABF) and the aviation industry to modernise and invest in the country’s border, as revealed in a submission to the Department of Transport’s Aviation Green Paper.
The joint vision, signed by Cruise Lines International Association Managing Director Joel Katz, details a number of “future travel concepts” trials taking place, including a new digital approach to capturing incoming passenger card information.
Cruise lines and airlines would support the completion of these requirements in their passenger mobile applications, in what is the latest attempt to move to a digital model for data collection.
Australia scrapped its novel digital passenger declaration for international arrivals in July 2022, following questions over the application’s usability, while an earlier attempt to replace the paper card in 2017 also failed.
Other co-signees to the submission include ABF Commissioner Michael Outram, Qantas Airways International Chief Executive Officer Cam Wallace, Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer Jayne Hrdlicka, Brisbane Airport Chief Executive Officer Gert-Jan de Graaf, and outgoing Sydney Airport Chief Executive Officer Geoff Culbert.
Other aims cited by the submission include a need to invest in technology, digitisation, & innovation to meet demands & expectations from travellers, and to prepare for the changing threat environment.
The ABF is also partnering with industry to test the business process of next generation SmartGates, the submission notes, which will employ contactless processing, allowing passengers to clear the border without needing to present their physical passport.
The technology will improve processing times at the border and enable greater throughput of passengers.
Other key factors driving the need for modernisation include the continued increase of traveller numbers and compounding pressure on the ABF workfroce.