TTF outlines options to enhance trans Tasman air travel

As previously reported by the Blue Swan Daily, Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has been working towards “sorting out the trans-Tasman issue” by calling for a single border management process between both Australia and New Zealand. In a new report produced for TTF by international consultancy Airbiz Aviation Strategies, the organisation outlines avenues to “deliver a smarter, better experience for passengers flying between Australia and New Zealand, while also improving the efficiency of airports, airlines and border management authorities”.

TTF CEO Margy Osmond said the report proposed sweeping reforms to streamline trans- Tasman air travel, including immigration pre-clearance at the point of departure, integrated terminals handling both domestic and international flights, and leveraging the latest screening technology to drastically reduce the time spent in queues, while improving security at the border.

“Australia’s visitor economy keeps going from strength to strength, with each year seeing record increases in the number of overseas travellers. However, the rate of growth in visitor arrivals is rapidly overtaking the capacity of our airports to deal with the higher volumes. The answer does not lie in continually building or expanding terminals to absorb the growth.”

The Blue Swan Daily recently caught up with the TTF CEO to discuss the issue, on the sidelines of the 2017 CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation and Corporate Travel Summit:

According to the report, titled Fast Forward: Streamlining trans-Tasman Air Travel‘:

  • Previous initiatives undertaken in improving trans Tasman travel have incrementally shortened the journey for most passengers as they fly between Australia and New Zealand;
  • Automation has reduced the processing time of steps within the journey, rather than removing steps altogether and expediting the overall journey;
  • Australia has removed the requirement for passengers to manually complete departure cards, though this process remains in New Zealand. Security screening processes are also cumbersome, requiring passengers to remove liquids and gels and specific electronic devices from their carry-on luggage;
  • Options to improve the trans Tasman journey include:
    • Opportunities for departure cards in New Zealand and arrival cards in Australia and New Zealand, reducing hassles for passengers;
    • Enhanced Advance Passenger Information (API) from airlines to border agencies, providing earlier and better quality passenger declaration information for customs and biosecurity agencies to assess and preclear most passengers and baggage;
    • Integration of emigration and immigration processes with airline check in and API processes, reducing touchpoints in the passenger journey;
    • Validation of emigration at combined border and security, providing identification and profiling of passengers prior to screening;
    • Full digitalisation of Australia’s Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) to avoid further queueing, and privatisation of TRS processing, enabling digitisation of the tax refund process and redeployment of Australian Border Force officers to more pressing border protection duties;
    • Utilisation of departure security screening bag xray images to facilitate arrival clearance;
    • “Face on the fly” biometric identification of passengers while walking, reducing touchpoints in the passenger journey, building on trials by Brisbane Airport, Air New Zealand and SITA;
    • Expediting security screening through deployment of enhanced screening technologies to avoid restrictions on liquids and gels and need to remove electronic devices;
    • Expansion of the Streamlined Travel border processing being trialled in New Zealand at time of writing, including pilots for other models of ‘trusted traveller’ programme.

The CAPA-ACTE 2017 New Zealand Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit, scheduled for 17-18 October, at the Grand Mercure Auckland, will include variety of thought provoking discussions and keynote speeches. To find out more or register click here