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Jamaica’s Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA) is upgrading Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport and Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport with new automated passport control system kiosks to help streamline passenger flow. This is another step in the airport revamp that is currently underway.

“We are very pleased that PICA is installing kiosks at our premier airports in Montego Bay and Kingston, as they will provide additional convenience for stopover visitors by speeding up processing times through the immigration halls,” said the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, in a press statement. “This will provide a more seamless airport experience as we progress through our peak winter season, during which we expect to welcome record-breaking arrivals.”

Jamaica’s Kiosks Will Speed Entry

The automated passport control system kiosks use biometric technology to authenticate passengers and are in use in numerous airports worldwide. Travelers only need to scan their passport and stand for a picture, which is then compared to a digital image that’s stored in their passport’s microchip. They replace desks staffed by immigration officers and speed the immigration process, freeing up the officers to perform other, more crucial border security duties.

“The installation of automated kiosks for passport control at our airports is an excellent use of modern technology to improve the overall passenger experience at Jamaica’s airports, which is important as we continue to grow arrivals to the destination,” said Donovan White, director of tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board, in a press statement. “Visitors’ first impressions of Jamaica’s overall tourism product take place upon landing, so we are glad to soon be able to enhance them.”

The airports will boast 100 or more immigration kiosks before the end of 2024. Jamaica’s final tourism numbers are still coming in, but the country was expected to have welcomed over 4.1 million visitors, an increase of 23.7 percent over 2022. Cruise passengers were expected to reach over 1.2 million, an increase of 46.1 over the previous year.

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