Australian airports plan to replace passports with face recognition technology

24th Jan 2017
Written by: Dave Owen


Passports could soon be a thing of the past, as Australia plans to trial contactless biometric recognition in their place.

The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will pilot the system at arrivals in Canberra Airport in July.

Under the scheme there’ll be no need to show your passport at a manned immigration desk. Instead, arrivals will be identified by a biometric system that scans their face, fingerprints, or eyes. In theory, the contactless technology means travellers could walk straight through arrivals without any need to stop.


How this biometric information will be collected is currently unclear, with the DIBP itself seemingly uncertain how the system will actually work. John Coyne, head of border security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, suggested boarding passengers may have to file through a corridor to have their biometrics captured without needing to stop.

If the trial goes well, DIBP will aim to introduce the system at Sydney and Melbourne airports in November, before rolling out the system nationwide by 2020.

The scheme is part of the Australian government’s Seamless Traveller initiative, launched in 2015, which is expected to cost AUD 93.7 million to speed up and better automate border control and security.


Early Childhood Development

from £787

10 - 84 days

Live and work in the world's most beautiful city - Cape Town - and play a vital role in enriching...

4 Days Amalfi Coast Adventure

from £299

4 days

4 days to explore the land of passion, great food and Italian customs. Visit the ruins of Pompeii, relax on...

Highlights Of Spain & Portugal

from £423

7 days

A 7-day jam-packed tour giving you a quick highlights experience of Spain and Portugal, from the main cities to the...

Backpacking Tour of Japan

from £1599

13 days

Join our 13 day adventure, starting from Tokyo, and find out why travelers love Japanl! This affordable tour is carefully...

Shark Conservation in Indonesia

from £750

14 days

Join our research team in paradise and work alongside experienced marine biologists while earning your PADI Dive certification all the...

India Volunteering Adventure

from £942

28 - 28 days

Take part in a great volunteering adventure which gives you the opportunity to see some of India greatest and most...

Kyrgyzstan Overland

from £575

15 days

Join this expedition to venture off the tourist trail through Kyrgyzstan and take in the stunning scenery in one of...

Madagascar Healthcare

from £545

7 - 28 days

This exciting programme will challenge you and show you the reality of working as a medical professional in a developing...

Volunteer with Children in South Africa

from £1239

35 - 84 days

Volunteer with kids in vibrant South Africa. Support children as they develop their English and their confidence. Alternatively, you can...

New Zealand’s Ultimate Road Trip

from £760

31 - 360 days

Discover the real New Zealand from the far North to the very far South. Experience all the hotspots as well...


East Meets West

from £1007

Our introduction to the romanticism of Eastern Europe begins in beautiful Budapest. We then fall for the charm of Krakow...

London Break – Hostel

from £209

Forget blowing precious pounds on overpriced accommodation. This four-day adventure allows you to explore London from the comfort of the...

Explore Alaska

from £1071

Alaska may be part of the USA, but it feels like another world. This trip gives the freedom to hike,...

Best of Tanzania

from £3955

Tanzania, United Republic of

Travel to Africa and experience some of Kenya and Tanzania's most famous natural wonders on this Active trip for those...

Mountains & Beaches

from £1016

From the snowy peaks of the mighty Swiss Alps to the turquoise waters of too-good-to-be-true Croatia, you’ll set eyes on...

Madrid New Year

Flamenco your way into the new year with a vibrant Madrid fiesta! Spend your days exploring the Royal Palace, Plaza...

Galapagos — West & Central Islands Photography Tour


Picture it: the Galápagos, viewed from the deck of the comfortable Monserrat as she cuts through blue waters bound for...

Best of Malaysia

from £1185


Travel to South-East Asia and experience the very best of Malaysia. Since its emergence from colonial rule, Malaysia has developed...

Western USA Family Experience

United States

Never mind the minivans and cheesy tourist attractions – our 12-day trip across the western United States puts a whole...

Coast, Lesotho & Cape Town

from £715

From the warm tropical waters of Durban, this journey through South Africa’s mountainous Drakensberg region and along the picturesque Garden...

[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]