Let’s discuss how to tweak the ideas, and then how to best implement them. And if there will be some financial benefit, how the proceeds are to be shared.
Idea: In-flight immigration processing system for first-time visitors to countries with rigorous immigration checks. There’s a lot of redundancy between the various checks which passengers go through, and part of the idea is to reduce this. Occasionally visitors make it through onto the plane but are turned away by the immigration booth, being refused admission into the country; it is obviously extremely inefficient to make this determination only upon arrival, and occasionally the denial of entry is actually a mistake resulting in diplomatic and other problems, which would be avoided with this proposed system. Also of course, in any line at immigration there are ‘problematic’ passengers who holdup the line, causing great inconvenience to all the other passengers who have just spend many wearying hours travelling. Often, the treatment at immigration causes an unpleasant feeling, resulting in loss of all the good-will which brought the traveler in the first place, and this can be mostly avoided. Given that in the proposed system there are potentially many hours from initiation of the immigration process to arrival of the passenger, part of the system can allow for calls to the passenger’s diplomatic representatives, family, organizational sponsor etc in their home country or in the visited one, perhaps solving the problem.
What is required for the proposed system: At passenger check-in a computer-file is automatically created and made available to a server over a secure connection. The passport examination aspect of check-in is videod and made part of the passenger’s file. The security check for checked luggage can be very useful since it involves questioning, and video of is placed in the computer file. Even a video-file of the x-ray can be in the passenger’s file (with passenger’s consent, or after ensuring adequate privacy of the information). In order to ensure that the person entering the plane is the same one as passed through this part of the process, as part of existing standard procedure at the departure-gate one’s passport is checked and identity verified; a video of this process would be made available to the immigration system. Together, all this should be able to form a very useful component of immigration processing. If there is no immigration official on the flight, then once internet/cell contact is available in-flight, passengers will be able to continue the process over video-chat using their own device or one integrated into the entertainment system (those with individual videos for each passenger). Flight attendants will have access to the on-board system to register any relevant information about specific passengers. After landing, passengers who have been processed go directly to a special line for a much-shortened procedure with an agent who has already seen all the relevant videos and seen them and spoken to them (via video-hookup). Each agent can be assigned a certain number of clients, whose faces show up above their booths when the plane lands, as a sign to the passengers where to wait.
In addition: As part of the system, visitors who are identified as ‘problematic’ even after all the in-flight processing can be sent to a specific booth/office, where an expert can handle their case, rather than them delaying everyone else.
What is needed:
- Familiarity with the systems used by the relevant countries, contact with appropriate officials to ensure that their needs are being satisfied by the proposed system.
- Software to create separate computer/video files at the beginning of the process and to assign the videos of each element of the process appropriately to the correct file. Integration of the destination-country immigration system with the information collected in the departure country.
- Security to prevent hacking/stealing information about passengers from the system, inserting false video, compromising the no-fly and other warning information in the system, etc.