Australian and New Zealand Governments announced a new trans-Tasman agreement to improve customs processing for Australian and New Zealand passengers travelling between the two countries (The Australian, 21-Aug-09). The agreement includes the establishment of the SmartGate passenger clearance system, electronic passport checks, direct exit paths and improved baggage screening.
- Air New Zealand welcomed the agreement, stating it is now also working with the NZ Government to introduce check-in kiosks for trans-Tasman travel (Yahoo!Xtra Travel, 20-Aug-09).
- Auckland Airport welcomed (20-Aug-09) the changes, stating it would improve tourism demand. [more]
- Qantas stated the changes to existing arrangements would provide some economic benefits through increased business and leisure travel and tourism. [more]
- New Zealand Airports Association welcomed the announcement. [more]
- Tourism New Zealand stated the new trans-Tasman agreement will improve the speed of screening and processing of low-risk passengers from Australia. SmartGate technology, which allows self-processing for ePassport holders, will be introduced at Wellington Airport next year, after first being introduced at Auckland Airport by the end of the year. [more]