A source from Kigalis international airport has confirmed information obtained a few days ago, that the Department of Immigration of Rwanda was introducing two automated gates at Kanombe International Airport, aimed to test their suitability for fast track processing of arriving passengers. It is understood that these new unmanned gates will have two stages to go through for initially Rwandan passengers coming home, first the scanning of the passport, which when successful will allow advancing to the second check point, where the finger prints are scanned and a biometric picture comparison taken. When all the data of the passport and finger prints have been matched, the passenger will be allowed to move on to the baggage collection area after being electronically cleared by the machines to re-enter Rwanda. The entire process is said to last no longer than 12 15 seconds for both phases, as long as the documents are in order and the recognition software clears the traveler.
No immediate confirmation could be received if the test would be extended to foreign visitors, many of whom need Visa on arrival, though a good number of nationalities have been formally exempted from paying Visa fees, as their locations of stay during their visit are normally also recorded in the arrival forms.
It is expected that the test results will be complete by the end of March at which stage the new gates will be formally launched. Rwanda is one of the most advanced countries in terms of computerization and even Visa are now to be obtained in advance via the immigration departments website, so as to facilitate the fast clearance of arriving passengers wishing to visit Rwanda without much of bureaucratic red tape which so often spoils the mood for the rest of the visit.
Another first for Rwanda, making travel to The Land of a Thousand Hills even easier now.