Jamaica opts for SITA technology


Jamaica’s Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), 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 country’s two major airports, Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, and Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

15 countries use SITA’s iBorders technology to process more than 100 million passengers annually. Jamaica is implementing SITA’s iBorders AdvancedManagement 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 passenger’s passport which is combined with flight information and then sent by airlines to relevant border control agencies, usually after aircraft departure. With SITA’s 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, SITA’s technology allows us to do this. We at PICA observed the success other countries have experienced when they introduced SITA’s iBorders technology and are looking forward to the improved security that SITA’s technology will bring to Jamaica.”


Passenger information for more than 4.8 million passengers will be processed by SITA’s 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.


“In the past partial passenger manifest information was supplied by the airlines to PICA which was not filtered or formatted as required,” says Dan Ebbinghaus, vice president Government Solutions, SITA. “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 analyse and use to make decisions.”


The new system went live in January with many airlines already using the system. It is available for all airlines flying to Jamaica and PICA will now be requiring all airlines to submit APIS data.


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