RIYADH — The Saudi General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) launched on Tuesday the inaugural phase of E-Passport gates at Terminals 3 and 4 of King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.

This pioneering initiative marks the Riyadh airport as the first airport in Saudi Arabia to offer the service of introducing biometric e-passport scanners aimed to streamline passenger travel procedures and provide a seamless experience for international travelers.

The inaugural ceremony was attended by Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA) President Abdullah Alghamdi, General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) President Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, Director General of Jawazat Lt. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Yahya, and National Information Center (NIC) Director Esam Alwagait.

Lt. Gen. Al-Yahya highlighted that the introduction of e-gates at King Khalid International Airport aims to facilitate travelers in completing their travel procedures independently, without the need for human intervention. He emphasized that these gates will save time and effort for travelers whose biometric characteristics (fingerprints) are stored in the passport systems.

The Jawazat chief stated that the e-gate rollout is part of the ongoing efforts to enhance travel procedures for citizens, expatriates, and visitors, as well as to improve its services through the introduction of efficient, smart, and digital solutions.

For his part, GACA Chief Al-Duailej said that the launch of self-service for passports confirms the importance of the vital role played by the civil aviation system and partners from government agencies in harnessing digitization and self-services to improve the experience of travelers, in accordance with the best international standards. “This service is the best testimony to the level of the sector’s pioneering aspirations as it seeks to achieve the goals of the National Aviation Strategy and Saudi Vision 2030 so as to become a pioneer in the aviation sector in the Middle East.”

Eng. Ayman Abu Abah, CEO of Riyadh Airports Co., said that this service is a significant addition to the digital transformation of the airport. “The self-service passport machines will contribute to accelerating the mechanism of passenger movement inside the terminal, by giving it a greater degree of ease of procedures, which will be reflected in its direct impact on developing the passengers’ experience,” he added.

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