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By GOV.BB on 18 Mar 2020, 10:03AM

Travellers passing through the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) can expect a smoother transition into the country from next week, as new digital alternatives have been introduced.

On Monday, December 16, the use and operationalization of the online embarkation/disembarkation card will be launched during an official ceremony on the Mezzanine Floor of the GAIA, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley, is expected to give the feature address, while Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson, will deliver remarks after the welcome address by GAIA Chairman, Vic Fernandes.

The launch of the online form is part of Government’s Public Sector Modernization Programme, which will see digital technology replacing existing manual processes in several agencies and departments.

It also represents a landmark achievement for Barbados as it will become the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to completely replace the manual ED card with digital alternatives.

“I believe firmly that first impressions count.  The launch of this online ED form represents a landmark achievement for Barbados, enhancing the visitor experience at the airport by replacing the manual ED card with a digital alternative.

“This form complements gains already made through the installation of Automated Passport Control kiosks and sets Barbados apart as the first Caribbean country to fully digitize the processing of incoming passengers at its airport,” Minister Hinkson said.

The initiative is being spearheaded by the Ministries of Home Affairs, Tourism and International Transport and Innovation, Science and Smart Technology; GAIA Inc.; the Immigration and Customs Departments and the Joint Regional Communications Centre.

Meanwhile, the Airline Association, the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Central Bank of Barbados and the Barbados Statistical Service serve as supporting partners.

The manual ED cards were discontinued on October 1, this year.

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