Before sunrise, an aircraft from Tasmania lands at Baiyun International Airport, Guangzhou, carrying over 4,000 kilograms of fresh pasteurized milk. Upon landing, Guangzhou Customs employees use a specialized mobile device to complete sampling and testing of the batch in just 20 minutes, so that the new arrivals can be on supermarket shelves in record time.
This is just one of the latest programs the airport is implementing to accelerate its passenger and goods services, so as to build a more competitive airport economy.
Through customs in 5 minutes
The pasteurized milk is one example of goods that need to be processed at the airport in a race against time. As Guangzhou grows its air transportation industry, more and more light-weight, fresh goods will keep flowing in. To cope with this challenge, the customs in the airport is counting on innovative new procedures.
Measures have been taken such as prior declaration, automated release and categorized management. “Every batch of imported pasteurized milk is attached with a chip that records the whole process of transportation and sends data to customs staff every 5 minutes, to ensure the safety of the food,” a customs officer explained.
While streamlining the number procedures from 8 down to 5, the customs is also introducing a smart monitoring system of the airfreight that shares information between customs, cargo terminals and checkpoints.
Fresh goods receive priority, as special staff and counters are reserved to expedite their clearance.
Since the beginning of the year, the amount of goods flowing through the airport has been on the rise, including 100 tons of fresh goods alone every day.
Easy clearance for passengers
“Now it is possible that luggage makes through earlier than the passenger,” said Zhang Weiyan, deputy director general of Customs inspection office at the airport, referring to a new set of 14 X-ray machines scanning the luggage.
The array can smartly monitor bags without bothering the travelers, granting the baggage clearance even faster than passengers can clear immigration. The system has been put into use at T2 after 4 months of consistent testing.
Since the opening of Terminal 2 at Baiyun International Airport, a series of “smart customs” operations have come into practice.
At the forefront of providing better service by Chinese airports, as previously mentioned the customs in Baiyun Airport has reduced the steps needed for clearance to just 5: quarantine, declaration, on-sight investigation, inspection and process.
Passengers can now enjoy the convenience of a self-help pre-declaration machine that can cut the time required to go through customs to just 2 minutes.
The airport is also paying increased attention to the health status of the passengers, especially with the current African swine fever (ASF) epidemic. 32 tunnels have been deployed that can automatically record the temperature of a passenger, and send warning at the sight of any abnormity.
Furthermore, the airport is working on the international transfers process, by tagging through flights, helping cut the time a traveler spends on an international transfer by half an hour on average.
Baiyun International Airport now has 157 international lines connecting over 210 destinations across more than 80 regions across the globe, therefore Guangzhou is building “4-hour living circle” across China and South Asia, and is just 12 hours away from many of the major world cities. As a result of this steady improvement in convenience, from January to August this year, over 12 million passengers went through Baiyun Airport representing a 9.5% increase.
Reported by Will, Eric
Edited by Simon