Australian Border Force (ABF) officers welcomed record numbers of travellers at international airports around Australia during the holiday period.
It was a record weekend for traveller movements at Australia’s major international airports with 148,069 arrivals and departures on 7 January and another 147,858 on 8 January.
Of these, 96,440 travellers on 7 January and 97,322 travellers on 8 January self-processed through SmartGates.
During the holiday period between 22 December 2016 and 2 January 2017, total arrivals and departures at major international airports increased by 9.9 per cent compared with the same time last year.
The holiday period is the busiest time of the year at Australian airports and ABF officers worked diligently to minimise delays for passengers.
The ABF processed more than 1.49 million travellers through the Australian international airports during the peak holiday period.
Sydney welcomed the largest number of travellers at its international airport with 278,952 incoming travellers, an increase of 8.8 per cent and 328,768 outgoing travellers, an increase of 9.6 per cent on the same time last year.
Darwin had the largest percentage increase of travellers of all state and territory capitals with an increase of 29.1 per cent on the same time last year, closely followed by Adelaide which experienced an increase of 23.3 per cent during the same peak period last year.
Melbourne International Airport was also busy during the holiday peak with 170,939 incoming passengers, an increase of 13.4 per cent and 210,811 outgoing passengers, an increase of 12.8 per cent.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Strategic Border Command Rachel Houghton praised ABF officers for their efficiency and commitment to protect the Australian community and border during the holiday period.
“A combination of the introduction of outwards eGates increased SmartGate technology and staff commitment to flexible deployment has enabled the ABF to process a record number of travellers through Australian borders,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Houghton said.
“The increase in passengers has been well managed, with limited congestion and the maintenance of strong border protection outcomes. Our officers are better prepared than ever to assist the travelling public.
“The safety and security of the public and our staff remains our highest priority during this peak travel time.”
The number of travellers moving through Australia’s international airports is steadily increasing and continual improvements to technology and staff capability allows the ABF to maintain border security while managing the challenge of growing traveller numbers.