Brisbane Airport trials Digital Departure Card

Brisbane Airport has begun trial of a Digital Departure Card for international passengers, removing the age old necessity of hand writing the official ‘outgoing passenger card’ (Departure Card) required for immigration purposes.

Developed in-house with support from a number of partners, the new Digital Departure Card is Australia’s first and built within the scope of BNE’s mobile App, giving passengers the ability to enter and save personal information for the Departure Card onto their mobile device prior to their arrival at the airport.

This information is converted into a QR code that is scanned and printed at bespoke kiosks located in the International Terminal. The personalised and custom printed card is then signed by the passenger and collected by Customs officers during the normal departure process.

Passengers are also able to save their profiles (as well as the profiles of other family members with permission) within the app so that they do not have to complete their personal information every time they travel internationally from BNE.

Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Director, said close collaboration with external partners enabled BAC to implement world first digital initiatives.

“We are fortunate to have a long association with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and it was a team of QUT Interactive and Visual Design students who came up with the initial idea of digitalising the Departure Card process as part of a practical assessment.

“We are also very grateful of the enthusiastic support given by the Australian Customs Service and Department of Immigration and Border Protection, which both recognised the huge potential of this initiative. 

“We saw great potential in the idea and with approval from the Department to proceed, BAC provided the capital and resources to develop the program and necessary infrastructure, as well as ensuring all boxes were ticked from a practical, logistical and legislative perspective.

“The result is an Australian if not a world first digital solution that will save time, streamline processing and help reduce anxiety associated with departure formalities, especially for non-English speaking travellers,” Ms Alroe said.

Alexander Dreiling, Associate Professor and Chair in Airport Innovation at QUT, said Creative Industries students were tasked with identifying a way in which the passenger experience could be improved.

“Filling out arrival and departure cards stood out as being a process that some people struggled with, particularly those who didn’t speak or read English,” Professor Dreiling said.

“QUT students and staff were keen to take on this project and develop a solution to prototype stage.

“This ultimately involved students from the Business and Science and Engineering faculties coming on-board at both graduate and undergraduate levels to develop an electronic prototype which was presented to BAC.

“Filling in data for the arrival or departure cards on the BAC App in advance, rather than filling it in on the cards at the airport makes the process easy whether someone is a frequent international flyer or a sometime traveller, regardless of age or language,” Professor Dreiling said.

On successful completion of the trial, the Digital Departure Card prototype will allow performance measurement and the ability to refine the design for future large scale releases.

The Airport Kiosk

The Digital Departure card App