By Simon Duddy
The Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) has been named as a member of the International Air Transport Association’s Simplifying Passenger Travel (SPT) group. The DNRD is first immigration authority in the region to achieve this status.
International Air Transport Association (IATA), the official airline trade association that controls approximately 280 airlines globally, has made Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) an advisory member of its Simplifying Passenger Travel (SPT) group.
SPT is an IATA initiative to bring together key parties involved in the passenger’s journey and its members include frequent passengers, leading airlines, airports, immigration control authorities and technological suppliers.
The DNRD is the first immigration body in the Middle East to be accorded this status by IATA, in recognition of its innovative electronically-operated passport control system, e-Gate, that allows card-operated access to registered passengers. SPT’s aim is to create smooth solutions for passenger movement at airports without compromising on security and safety issues.
Following IATA’s invitation, DNRD made presentations on the e-Gate project at IATA meetings in Vancouver, Canada and Tokyo, Japan. IATA officials were impressed with DNRD’s eGate system, especially its advanced security screening procedures which use fingerprint scanning for identification. This is in line with SPT’s initiative of focusing on facilitating a passenger’s journey, while emphasising the security benefits of processing 'known' passengers automatically, thereby freeing-up resources to concentrate on 'unknown' passengers.
“We are honoured to be the first immigration control body in the Arab World to be a part of SPT. The membership to IATA’s SPT group marks the biggest recognition to our e-Gate project,” said Colonel Saeed bin Belailah, Director of DNRD. “It is a great honour, because IATA is the apex body that looks after aviation policies in so many countries. We are proud to be included in this select group that shares concepts and ideas on how to make airports and air travel safer across the globe. Like SPT, DNRD also aims to improve the passenger travel experience by replacing repetitive checks of passengers and their documents with a new streamlined system that is time- and cost -efficient”.