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Record season for Customs at international airports

12.17pm 27 February 2018 | News

Customs processed nearly 3.5 million passengers through eGate facilities and counters at airports in a record summer operation.

Border Operations Manager, Anne-Marie Taggart says the summer peak season that ran from the beginning of December 2017 until mid-February, saw Customs handle the equivalent of around 80 percent of New Zealand's total population, in 10 weeks.

"Our international airports in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown dealt with more than 3.4 million passengers or approximately 18,200 arriving and departing flights over this period, an increase of 133,000 passengers on the same time last year," says Ms Taggart.

"Auckland is our largest airport and had the major share of the increase with our staff facilitating nearly 98,000 more passsengers than the previous year."

She puts the successful operation down to careful planning by airport border operations teams.

"Having the right staffing numbers for peak times was important, as was the introduction of additional e-gates and new digital signage at our major airports that paved the way for a smoother experience for travellers," adds Ms Taggart.

"Extending our eGate facilities to five more countries last year, taking the number eligible to use the eGates from five at the start of the year, to 10, helped us to manage the increasing number of travellers arriving and departing.

"We are working collaboratively with other agencies on a number of initiatives that we hope will further enhance the service we provide at the border.

"Travel is a major industry in New Zealand and we are doing our utmost to make continuous improvements to our processes to ensure that disruptions are kept to a minimum and passengers have a good experience going through our facilities."