Minister with responsibility for Immigration, Senator Darcy Boyce, announced today that new border control technology would be introduced at the Grantley Adams International Airport next year, aimed at speeding up the processing of arriving passengers.
Speaking at a citizenship induction ceremony hosted by the Immigration Department at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Senator Boyce assured immigration officers that the new technology would not threaten their jobs.
He disclosed that 14 Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks were being installed in the Arrival Hall and the 20 immigration counters currently in use would be maintained.
The kiosks, which are expected to be operational from February 2017, will initially be available for use by Barbadians and persons with permanent status in Barbados, he revealed.
According to the Minister, passengers opting to use the kiosks would spend an estimated 90 seconds completing the process. Facilitation officers would be on hand to assist anyone who needs it, he added.
Senator Boyce said that handling the administrative part of the inspection at the kiosks was expected to result in passengers being cleared four times faster than with the traditional process.
He noted that the system was already in place at several international airports, and according to feedback, wait times in Arrivals Halls had dropped by 40 to 50 per cent.
A total of 110 persons became Barbadian citizens during the ceremony. Their countries of origin were Dominica, the United States of America, Canada, Nigeria, Brazil, Ireland, Ghana, Lebanon, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Jamaica, St. Vincent and Guyana.