The Government of Oman has deployed border management systems from air transport and government IT specialist, SITA, to facilitate visitor movement and streamline the Sultanate’s visa and residence permit processes. The agreement establishes a layered approach to border control, providing the Royal Oman Police with an effective, efficient and flexible visa processing and security clearance process, covering eVisas, Advanced Passenger Processing and Entry Exit Visitor Information systems.
Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India & Africa, said: “SITA is providing Oman with a fully integrated border management solution, as well as the tools to manage, monitor and operate its borders effectively. This will enable them to provide the highest quality experience at the first point of contact for its visitors, and will be flexible to facilitate future growth.”
The number of visitors to Oman is growing, and the country is anticipating significant future growth with the Sultanate of Oman’s investment program to attract 12 million visitors by 2020. Passenger traffic at Muscat International Airport has grown 329% since 2007, reaching 9 million passengers in 2014. In addition, nearly half the country’s population is expatriates who require visas.
Under the agreement, SITA is deploying an extensive iBorders® solution that encompasses risk assessment of traveler data from air and cruise lines, a comprehensive border control system used at immigration checkpoints across Oman, a complete e-Visa solution and a centralized Visitor Information System. The entire solution, which will be fully integrated into the country’s existing border management systems, provides officers with complete information about each individual, such as biometrics and historical information, so they can focus on high-risk travelers and make timely and fully-informed decisions.
iBorders will be deployed at 28 airports, seaports and land border crossings across Oman, as well as more than 15 regional offices and more than 50 Omani embassies and consulates located across the world. All this is supported by four data centres, providing scalable capacity and redundancy. In addition, SITA delivers a comprehensive training program to ensure all government users and technical staff have the capability to operate the system.
Dan Ebbinghaus, Vice President, Government and Security, SITA, said: “SITA has extensive expertise in delivering complex border management solutions to cater for different countries’ needs. In addition, we have particular expertise in this region because we already provide border management solutions for many of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.”
In addition to its customers in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, more than 20 countries around the world have chosen SITA’s iBorders border management solutions and services, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, the UK and the USA.