Thursday, June 27, 2019

Quicker passport scan with airport’s e-gates

UPGRADE. The new e-gates installed at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport have shortened the time for passport scanning to just 10 to 15 seconds for every passenger. (Contributed photo)

THE three electronic gates (e-gates) at Terminal 2 of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) have made the processing of newly arrived passengers’ passports faster than it was before.

These machines can only cater to local travelers, said Senior Immigration Officer Nelson Gallentes of the Bureau of Immigration (BI)-Port Operation Division. These went online last Oct. 25.

The passports of the foreigners cannot be scanned at the e-gates. Also, mothers with their children cannot go through the gates as the machines cannot recognize a person who stands below 4’5”.

In the first nine months of this year, the MCIA received 1,409,908 incoming international passengers.

Gallentes said a local traveler before had to spend 40 seconds to pass through the arrival counter in the MCIA.

After they installed the machines, a passenger only had to wait for 10 to 15 seconds for his passport to be scanned.

The three e-gates are part of the 15 machines that the BI placed in major airports in the country.

Ten e-gates were put up at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, while two others were brought to Davao City.

The officials of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., which manages Terminal 2, welcomed the BI’s e-gates as these could help minimize the long queue at the airport.

Gallentes said the machines are complete with modern security features, including facial recognition, biometric scanning, bar code reading and smart card recognition.

The system can easily detect passengers who have criminal records and hold departure orders from the BI.

Gallantes said the passports that can be scanned are those issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs starting in 2016. Electronic chips were embedded in these passports.

“When you have your passport scanned, it is not the physical scanning of the database. It is the retrieving of the data from the electronic chip embedded in the passport so you cannot trick us,” Gallantes said. (from GCM of SuperBalita/KAL)


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