MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – As part of upgrades being made to the island’s airports, Jamaica’s Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA) is installing and testing new kiosks at Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport and Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport. These kiosks are automated passport control systems to streamline passenger flow.
“We are very pleased that PICA is installing kiosks at our premier airports in Montego Bay and Kingston, as they will provide additional convenience for stopover visitors by speeding up processing times through the immigration halls,” said the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica. “This will provide a more seamless airport experience as we progress through our peak winter season, during which we expect to welcome record-breaking arrivals.”
The kiosks, which are a feature at many airports worldwide, use biometric technology to authenticate the identity of passengers. They scan the passenger’s passport and take a photo of the passenger’s face, which is then compared to the digital image stored in the passport’s microchip. These kiosks will serve as an alternative to using desks staffed by immigration officers, thereby allowing passengers to move through passport control more quickly. In addition, they free up immigration officers to concentrate on more critical border security duties.
“The installation of automated kiosks for passport control at our airports is an excellent use of modern technology to improve the overall passenger experience at Jamaica’s airports, which is important as we continue to grow arrivals to the destination,” said Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board. “Visitors’ first impressions of Jamaica’s overall tourism product take place upon landing, so we are glad to soon be able to enhance them.”
It is anticipated that airline passengers will have access to as many as 100 immigration kiosks before the end of the year.