Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad airports to get e-gates

E-gates will expedite immigration service for passengers of developed countries, say sources

In this photograph taken on April 26, 2018, Pakistani airport staff walks through the Islamabad International Airport on the outskirts of Islamabad. — AFP
  • Passengers having e-passport will be able to use e-gates.
  • E-gates to avoid hassle of queues at 3 major airports. 
  • Pakistan, UAE company in talks for e-gates installation. 

KARACHI: Pakistan is in talks with a United Arab Emirates (UAE) company for installing e-gates at the Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad airports for self-immigration services similar to developed countries, The News reported Saturday. 

Airport sources said the installation of e-gates at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, Lahore’s Allama Iqbal Airport and Islamabad International Airport is under consideration to expedite the immigration service for passengers of developed countries.

Like the airports of Birmingham, Edinburgh, Dubai and other developed countries, passengers at the three major airports of Pakistan would be able to avoid the hassle of queues and will be able to easily sail through the automated self-service immigration barriers.

According to the immigration sources, only the passengers having an e-passport will be able to use the e-gates facility.

E-gates, also known as automated border control systems (ABC), are automated self-service barriers which use data stored in a chip in biometric passports while entering the e-gates to verify the identity of the passport holder.

On July 21, the then-minister for aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique announced in the National Assembly that the Islamabad airport would be outsourced for 15 years to improve its operational activities.

He had clarified that the move did not equate to privatisation, instead, it aimed to bring in proficient operators to enhance airport operations.

The federal minister emphasised that open competitive bidding would be ensured, allowing the best bidder to be given the opportunity to operate the airport, adding that the process would be profit-oriented, ultimately benefiting the national exchequer.

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