Jamaica installs biometric kiosks in airports
12 December 2014 13:59 GMT

PICA says it expects passenger throughput to increase by 60% at airports in Kingston and Montego Bay.


Jamaica’s Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) says it expects passenger throughput to increase by 60% at airports in Kingston and Montego Bay thanks to new biometric automated border control (ABC) kiosks installed this week.

The kiosks, developed by air transport and government IT solutions provider SITA, make Jamaica the first country in the Americas to allow passengers arriving from any international location to use kiosks for self-service immigration border clearance.

“It is important that we welcome all our visitors to Jamaica in the best way we can and with SITA we had the confidence to offer this self-service to all passengers, and not just those who enroll in a trusted traveler program.”, said Jennifer McDonald, CEO, PICA.

Unlike other countries, the kiosks in Jamaica are open to all nationalities and passengers do not have to be part of special  traveler program.

The passenger uses their passport to identify themselves and a camera on the kiosk captures their face biometric. The passport information and biometric captured is then cross-referenced to verify the passenger is who they claim to be and then checked against government watch lists.

The passenger answers immigration questions on the kiosk touch screen and once cleared is given a receipt to show as they exit the customs hall.  Passengers do not need to interact with an immigration official unless there is an error or concern.

“SITA’s kiosks use biometrics and work seamlessly with our existing border management systems to offer this great service - fast and secure border processing for everyone, “ said McDonald.

Paul Houghton, SITA President, Americas, commented “Jamaica continues its long tradition of welcoming travellers in the best way possible by making border processing easier, faster and more secure."