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Jamaica Enhances Immigration with SITAs iBorders

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The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) of Jamaica, with support of air transport IT provider SITA, has incorporated APIS data in its border management system.

The solution provided is part of a security and tourism initiative to improve passenger facilitation and manage security resources effectively. It involves intelligent pre-departure analysis of data for outbound passengers, eliminating the need for outbound passengers to queue at immigration checkpoints at the countrys two major airports, Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, and Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

Jamaica is implementing SITAs iBorders Advanced Management API, which processes and checks advance passenger information (API) from airlines and presents it in a readily programmable format for fast risk assessment by authorities.

The new service will process and manage API data from the more than 40 carriers flying in and out of Jamaica. This data comprises the standard information contained in each passengers passport which is combined with flight information, and then sent by airlines to relevant border control agencies, usually after aircraft departure.

With SITAs iBorders technology, PICA will receive the data systematically before flights depart Jamaica allowing it to conduct risk analysis before passengers leave the island.

Jennifer McDonald, CEO, PICA of Jamaica, said, Tourism is vital to the economy of Jamaica and we want to welcome our visitors while ensuring the highest levels of security, SITAs technology allows us to do this. We at PICA observed the success other countries have experienced when they introduced SITAs iBorders technology and are looking forward to the improved security that SITAs technology will bring to Jamaica.

Passenger information for more than 4.8 million passengers will be processed by SITAs systems each year with Jamaica receiving the data to perform risk analysis. This intelligent pre-departure analysis has the added benefit of removing the manual immigration check for outgoing passengers at the airports. If flying with one of the airlines that are active on the system, passengers can go straight to the lounge and shopping areas after clearing security and completely avoid queuing at an immigration checkpoint.

Dan Ebbinghaus, Vice President Government Solutions, SITA, said, In the past partial passenger manifest information was supplied by the airlines to PICA which was not filtered or formatted as required. With SITA iBorders, we now collect and process the data from the airlines, making sure that it is delivered as quickly as possible and in the processable format that the Jamaican authorities want. Our system also strengthens policy enforcement because Jamaica is presented with clear data to analyze and use to make decisions. 

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