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Story Highlights

  • Immigration and airport personnel from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao as well as a member of the Saint Maarten legislature were in the island recently on a fact-finding mission to observe Jamaica’s use of automated immigration kiosks.
  • The seven-man Curaçaoan delegation toured the arrival immigration hall at the Sangster International Airport (SIA).
  • Curaçao and Saint Maarten are seeking to introduce the automated border crossing (ABC) technology at their ports of entry and have drawn on Jamaica’s experience with the system.

Immigration and airport personnel from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao as well as a member of the Saint Maarten legislature were in the island recently on a fact-finding mission to observe Jamaica’s use of automated immigration kiosks at the island’s main international airports.

The seven-man Curaçaoan delegation toured the arrival immigration hall at the Sangster International Airport (SIA) and included the Chief Operations Officer for Curaçao’s international airport, Mr. Tobias Market and Mrs. Esther Cheri, Immigration Director. Member of Parliament, Mrs. Leona Marlin was the representative from Saint Maarten who observed the kiosks at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA). The tour of both airport facilities was done in the presence of local immigration personnel from the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA).

Curaçao and Saint Maarten are seeking to introduce the automated border crossing (ABC) technology at their ports of entry and have drawn on Jamaica’s experience with the system. The Curaçao delegation was accompanied by Mr. Dennis Martis, a representative from SITA – the company responsible for supplying and training PICA’s immigration staff in the use of the technology.

Ten ABC kiosks were installed at the SIA and five at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) during a formal launch of the system in November 2014 at the NMIA and later in December 2014 at the SIA. They are the first of their kind in the Americas as they allow non-nationals to use the technology. In most other jurisdictions this is not the case as only citizens are allowed to use the kiosks while non-nationals are processed through their immigration officials.

The kiosks, which are self-serve machines, enable a speedier processing of persons through immigration as travellers interaction with the system averages approximately 60 seconds as opposed to the average processing time of two-minutes when passengers interact directly with an immigration officer. Many passengers have expressed pleasure with the system and are happy with the level of convenience it affords.

The addition of kiosks at the island’s major international airports forms part of an overall effort by PICA to re-engineer its immigration processes in order to facilitate a more convenient and hassle-free travelling experience for its customers.