Davao airport goes high-tech with electronic gates

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Eva Pichon, a vacationing OFW from Hongkong, exclaimed: “Yes, we’re now hi-tech!”

Pichon and at least a dozen other Filipinos on Wednesday, October 31, became the first batch of travellers to use the Bureau of Immigration’s electronic gate system or simply e-Gate, installed at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport here.

Pichon did not succeed on her first try, but it was more because she failed to follow the proper procedure.

For the e-Gates to properly function:

The user has to first scan the boarding pass before scanning the page, where the basic information on the passport holder are found.
This would open the first exit door and the passenger would then put his or her index finger on the second scanner while looking at the camera.
The screen would then flash “Maligayang Pagdating sa Pilipinas” while the second exit gate opens.
The cleared passenger would then pick up his or her sticker pass and leave the immigration counter.
The airport here, also known as the Davao International Airport, was among 5 major airports the Bureau of Immigration would be installing e-Gates in. Currently, two of these were installed here.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the system would cut processing time to just about 15 seconds.

He said it would also decongest immigration arrival counters amid the increasing volume of international flights to the city.

At least 3 airlines have flights from this city to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Jinjiang in China on a weekly or bi-weekly bases.

A flight to a major Japanese city was also being planned.

Morente said the installation of the e-Gates is part of the P329-million project funded by the national government.

In total, 21 e-Gates will be installed by the end of the year, the bulk of which will be at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. – Rappler.com