Unisys tipped for airport biometrics project

Customs, the airport and the DoL seek to trial the use of biometric technologies at self-service kiosks

A decision on the successful vendor to pilot the automatic border crossing programme at Auckland International Airport has yet to be made, according to the Customs Service. However, word around the capital is that a decision was made late last month in favour of Unisys.

Customs, the airport and the Department of Labour — Immigration is part of the DoL — jointly issued a request for proposal in March. They are seeking to trial the use of biometric technologies — facial recognition, iris scans, fingerprints and the like — at self-service kiosks for processing arrival-registered passengers at the airport.

Spokeswoman for Customs Mary Parker says a decision has definitely not been made. However, Computerworld understands a decision was made — after a recent overseas trip by a Customs employee — for Unisys to undertake the pilot. Following the trip, the short-list was whittled down from two vendors.

Unisys declined to comment.

Three years ago, Customs conducted a lengthy facial-recognition trial, using software from Canadian vendor Imagis, at Wellington airport.

Parker says this is being used as a basis for the new trial. When asked what was achieved as a result of the Wellington trial she said: “We’re not disclosing that”.

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