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REHBEIN AOS

DATE 10 January, 2007


CONTACT BEN HARGREAVES



























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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This report presents the findings of a review of the Australian Customs Services Passengers Branch
functions at International airports within Australia. The review focussed on the three broad themes of:
efficiency; consistency; and the passenger experience.
Every airport is subject to traffic with different characteristics, resulting in differing demands for
resources. In general terms, however, airport passenger flows are characterised by relatively short
periods of very high demand, combined with long periods of little or no demand, as a direct result of
airline scheduling considerations. Such patterns make if very difficult to achieve high levels of
efficiency in the utilisation of resources at airports. Passenger flows at airports lead to an inevitable
build-up of queues, which are absolutely necessary from an efficiency perspective.
The review did not reveal a single, overall solution to these challenges. However, a range of potential
incremental measures were identified whereby the efficiency of Customs operations and the quality
of the passenger experience could be enhanced. Implementation of these measures should be as
consistent as possible within the constraints imposed by the different airport environments.
Ultimately, responsibility for the smooth flow of passengers through an airport must rest with the
airport operators. They are the only stakeholders with influence over all of the interacting processes
that occur within the airport. However, Customs should ensure that it does everything it can to
effectively manage its interactions with other airport stakeholders, in the interest of enhancing
Customs ability to perform its portfolio of responsibilities as efficiently as possible. In particular,
Customs should work, at a high level, to ensure that airport operators and other influential
stakeholders clearly understand the interactions between the different processes in airports and the
extent to which each agency is responsible for the smooth flow of passengers.
Since queues at airports are unavoidable, effective management of waiting passengers is important
to provide an acceptable passenger experience. Whilst queues for the primary line were generally
observed to be orderly and well-managed, the provision of additional passenger management
resources in the primary line queues has the potential to realise significant processing efficiencies by
ensuring that the appropriate documents are correctly completed and ready for inspection. At the
larger airports, a net reduction in resources can be expected. The resource savings realised could be
reassigned to fulfilling Customs enforcement functions or to managing passenger congestion in the
baggage hall and Secondary Examination Area. There may be a role for other industry
organisations, such as the airlines and airport operators, in ensuring passengers are adequately
prepared. Improved signage may also help in this respect; however in isolation this is unlikely to be
sufficiently effective. If passenger preparation activities could be combined with a relocation of
enforcement targeting functions currently carried then behind the primary line, the synergy could help


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enhance the publics perception of Customs. Given the potential benefits that could result, this is
considered to be a high priority area for attention.
Passenger flows in the baggage hall and queuing arrangements at the entrance to the Secondary
Examination Area were observed to be consistently problematic. This situation is ultimately caused
by a fundamental lack of capacity for the conduct of quarantine inspections. Nevertheless, there are
some steps Customs could take to assist the smooth flow of passengers and overcome these
infrastructure limitations. More active management of passengers in the baggage hall is essential
and should be considered an immediate priority. At the same time, queuing arrangements for the
Secondary Examination Area at individual airports should be reviewed for effectiveness, ease of
understanding by passengers, the efficiency with which they utilise the available space and the
extent to which they impact on passenger flows in the baggage hall. Streamlining of the Customs
and quarantine marshalling processes would also offer benefits in terms of efficiency and the
passenger experience and should be investigated as quickly as possible. A stronger and better-
defined relationship with AQIS is essential to achieving both of these outcomes. Meanwhile,
Customs should use the passenger facilitation task force to investigate necessary capacity
enhancements within the Secondary Examination Area.
Whilst short-term resource allocation and deployment appears to be performed in an effective
manner at all airports, this could be enhanced through the consistent application of the currently
available planning tools. A more systematic long-term resource planning process, which considers
whole-of-airport requirements, can help to resolve the inevitable tension between Customs
enforcement and passenger facilitation activities. An integrated planning approach will also allow a
level of resources to be delivered that more closely matches that required on a day-to-day basis to
achieve Customs specific outcomes. More rigorous prediction of resource requirements will allow an
economical roster structure to be developed and implemented, and provide greater confidence that
the twin objectives of efficiency and effectiveness are being achieved. In order to support an
enhanced resource planning process, however, a series of basic human resources indicators need
to be monitored.
The use of Customs Officers to perform certain functions has been considered as part of this review.
There is the potential to accommodate part-time officers to accommodate peak period flows at the
larger airports. The potential efficiencies that this could realise warrant the development of a
category of part-time officers, subject to labour availability and engagement considerations, which
could be utilised in the appropriate circumstances to fulfil a range of compliance-focussed functions.
However, at smaller airports the flexibility offered by a completely multi-skilled workforce is essential
to efficient operations. An alternative solution might be to develop a graduated Customs Trainee
program which would spread training costs over a longer period and allow officers to be productive in
certain functions at a much earlier stage than presently.


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Infrastructure limitations will continue to present challenges to Customs and other stakeholders who
conduct operations at airports. More effective education of airport operators about the impacts of
their decisions, combined with earlier involvement in redevelopment proposals, is required to
overcome these difficulties. The flexible deployment of Customs resources between the airport and
other locations has considerable merit in achieving the most efficient utilisation of staff. Ways in
which this could be achieved in the medium- to long-term should be given serious consideration.
Customs signage at airports needs to be comprehensively reviewed. A consistent signage policy
should be developed that addresses aspects such as the content, style and siting of Customs signs
as well as interaction with the signs of other stakeholders, particularly airport operators. The
message, form of delivery, location and audience for each sign must be considered carefully.
Signage is not always the most effective medium and alternative methods of delivery for key
messages should be used where appropriate.
The current inwards passenger facilitation standard is a satisfactory indicator of performance at the
entry control point. However, this standard should be considered within an integrated framework of
passenger facilitation measures covering all relevant airport processes, which Customs should work
to establish through the passenger facilitation task force. Performance measures for facilitation by
Customs in the Secondary Examination Area are not appropriate. However the development of a
passenger facilitation performance measure for the outward control point would be beneficial to
Customs in managing its interactions with airlines and airport operators.
In establishing framework of key performance indicators to assist management in monitoring the
effectiveness and efficiency of Customs passengers operations, it should be recognised that the
comparison of efficiency indicators between airports will be of limited value due to impracticality of
establishing a useful benchmark. Benchmarks for efficiency need to be founded on baseline
resource requirements for each individual airport established through a systematic resource planning
process.


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PRIORITY ACTION AREAS
The principal recommendations relating to each of the key priority action areas identified by this
review are summarised below. These key recommendations are presented in priority order and are
supported by the remaining recommendations contained within this report which are summarised in
Section 6.0.
Each group of recommendations should be considered as a suite of complementary actions that, if
implemented together, will generate substantial synergies. Furthermore, there are cost and efficiency
interactions between each group of recommendations such that, if implemented in totality, these
actions should result in improvements to the passenger experience and consistency of practice with
a net improvement in efficiency.
Passenger management and preparation:
More active management of passengers in the baggage hall is essential, from the perspective of the
passenger experience. Queuing arrangements for the Secondary Examination Area require scrutiny.
Although additional resources are required for passenger management, closer relationships with
AQIS would present opportunities to minimise this increase through streamlining.
Recommendation 5: Sufficient resources should be provided in busy periods dedicated to the
active management of passengers attempting to exit the baggage hall. Customs should use the
passenger facilitation task force to investigate necessary capacity enhancements within the
Secondary Examination Area (SEA).
Recommendation 8: Queuing arrangements for the Secondary Examination Area at individual
airports should be further scrutinised for their effectiveness, ease of understanding by passengers,
the efficiency with which they utilise the available space and the extent to which they impact on
passenger flows in the baggage hall.
Recommendation 6: Sufficient marshal resources should be provided to prevent the Customs
marshal point from being a limiting factor in the queuing process for the Secondary Examination
Area.
Recommendation 7: The opportunity for streamlining the Customs and AQIS marshalling duties
for the Secondary Examination Area should be investigated through the passenger facilitation task
force.
The provision of additional passenger management resources in the primary line queues, either by
Customs or other stakeholder organisations, has the potential to realise significant processing
efficiencies, especially at larger airports. If this could be combined with a relocation of enforcement
targeting functions, the synergy could generate greater efficiencies and help enhance the publics


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perception of Customs. Some of the resource savings here could be redirected to the management
of passengers in the baggage hall.
Recommendation 3: Measures to reduce entry control point cycle times by improving passenger
readiness should be adopted at SYD, MEL and BNE. Customs should seek to secure the
cooperation of airlines and airport operators to achieve this. The potential benefits of this strategy at
other airports should be reviewed.
Recommendation 14: Customs should review internally its publicly visible enforcement work
practices for the potential to carry out these activities in other locations so that the officers
conducting them appear more active.
Recommendation 10: Customs should seek to secure the cooperation of airlines and airport
operators to ensure passengers have completed their outgoing passenger card before entering the
queue and have it ready for inspection at the desk along with their passport. This principle should be
established at a national level as well as between the regions and individual airports.
There is potential to realise resource savings by using teams of part-time officers to accommodate
the peak period flows in highly demand-driven compliance-focussed functions at some airports.
Development of a corresponding category of personnel would offer a cost-effective mechanism for
the provision of additional resources to carry out passenger management activities.
Recommendation 36: A job description for part-time officers should be developed. Mechanisms by
which such officers could be integrated within the Customs personnel structure should be
investigated.
Recommendation 37: Customs should consider the use of part-time officers at MEL and BNE
initially and, subject to positive results there, review the potential to engage them at SYD in light of
labour market considerations.

Resource planning and performance measurement:
A more systematic long-term resource planning process, which considers whole-of-airport
requirements, is required to allow a level of resources to be delivered that more closely matches that
required on a day-to-day basis to achieve Customs specific outcomes. Efficiencies will flow from the
ability to deliver resources in the most cost-effective manner. More systematic resource planning will
also identify baseline resource requirements for each individual airport and allow efficiency to be
assessed and monitored in a meaningful way.
Recommendation 22: In planning long-term resource requirements, adequate account must be
taken of anticipated variations in passenger numbers and aircraft arrival times. Resource


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requirements should be planned explicitly to achieve the current specified performance targets.
Adequate resources must be allocated to resource planning activities to achieve these objectives.
Recommendation 23: Long-term resource planning for Customs enforcement activities should be
carried out as rigorously as possible and the results incorporated into the overall workforce planning
process.
Recommendation 56: The baseline predicted resource requirement should be established at each
airport in order to permit a meaningful assessment of the efficiency of resource delivery by rosters.
The baseline resource requirement must be reviewed at each change of flight schedule and updated
as necessary.

Infrastructure, signage and stakeholder relationships:
Customs should ensure that it does everything it can to effectively manage its interactions with other
airport stakeholders, especially AQIS, in the interest of enhancing Customs ability to perform its
portfolio of responsibilities as efficiently as possible. Customs signage at airports needs to be
comprehensively reviewed.
Recommendation 18: Customs must work to achieve a stronger relationship and clearer division
of responsibilities between Customs and AQIS with respect to the management of passengers in the
Secondary Examination Area (SEA) and baggage hall. This should be achieved through formal
agreements at a national level.
Recommendation 15: Customs should ensure that it does everything in its power to effectively
manage its interactions with other airport stakeholders, in the interest of enhancing Customs ability
to perform its portfolio of responsibilities as efficiently as possible.
Recommendation 40: A consistent signage policy should be developed. This should address
aspects such as the content, style and siting of Customs signs as well as the interaction with the
signs of other stakeholders, particularly airport operators.
Recommendation 41: The content and location of dynamic signs should be thoroughly reviewed
as part of an overall signage strategy.




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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 SCOPE OF THE REVIEW 1
1.2 METHODOLOGY 1
1.3 CONTEXT 2
2.0 WORK PRACTICES & BUSINESS PROCESSES 4
2.1 PASSENGER MANAGEMENT 4
2.2 PASSENGER PERCEPTIONS 16
2.3 INTERACTION WITH OTHER AGENCIES 17
3.0 STAFFING 21
3.1 RESOURCE ALLOCATION & DEPLOYMENT 21
3.2 TRAINING 29
3.3 RECRUITMENT & SELECTION POLICY 31
3.4 SKILLING LEVELS AND CAREER PATHS 33
4.0 INFRASTRUCTURE & TECHNOLOGY 35
4.1 INFRASTRUCTURE CONFIGURATION 35
4.2 SIGNAGE 37
4.3 OTHER TECHNOLOGY 46
5.0 PERFORMANCE MEASURES 48
5.1 PASSENGER FACILITATION MEASURES 48
5.2 MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE MEASURES 55
6.0 SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS 60


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6.1 WORK PRACTICES/BUSINESS PROCESSES 60
6.2 STAFFING 62
6.3 INFRASTRUCTURE & TECHNOLOGY 63
6.4 PERFORMANCE MEASURES 64
7.0 CONCLUSIONS 66

APPENDIX TERMS OF REFERENCE



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FIGURES
FIGURE 1 TYPICAL ECP QUEUE ARRANGEMENTS 6
FIGURE 2 QUEUING FOR CUSTOMS MARSHAL POINT 10
FIGURE 3 QUEUING FOR THE SECONDARY EXAMINATION AREA (SEA) AT SYD 11
FIGURE 4 TYPICAL DISTRIBUTION OF ACTUAL AIRCRAFT ARRIVALS AGAINST SCHEDULE 22
FIGURE 5 LONG-TERM RESOURCE PLANNING METHODS 23
FIGURE 6 COMPARISON OF RESOURCE REQUIREMENT PREDICTIONS - ECP 24
FIGURE 7 RESTRICTED AREA SIGNS 39
FIGURE 8 FREE-STANDING DUTY FREE ALLOWANCE SIGNS 40
FIGURE 9 INEFFECTIVE INSTRUCTIONAL SIGNS 41
FIGURE 10 DYNAMIC SIGNAGE FOR AUTOMATED BORDER PROCESS 42
FIGURE 11 DYNAMIC SIGNAGE AT THE ECP 43
FIGURE 12 DUPLICATION OF DIRECTIONAL SIGNS 45
FIGURE 13 COMPARATIVE RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS FOR OUTWARD FACILITATION 54




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1.0 INTRODUCTION
This report presents the findings of a review of the Australian Customs Services Passengers
Branch functions at International airports within Australia. The review was carried out by Rehbein
AOS Airport Consulting, on behalf of the Australian Customs Service (Customs).
1.1 SCOPE OF THE REVIEW
The full Terms of Reference for the review, defined and agreed at the outset of the study, are
included as Appendix. In summary, the review considered the following four aspects within the
context of Customs business objectives:
the extent to which current work practices / business processes deliver, in the most efficient
and effective way possible, Customs business objectives within relevant standards;
the extent to which current staffing arrangements, including workforce planning, recruitment,
deployment and rostering, deliver capable staff able to undertake the requisite business
processes to achieve Customs business outcomes;
the extent to which technology, and in particular signage, does or could further the efficient and
effective delivery of Customs business outcomes;
the extent to which current performance measures usefully quantify Customs business
outcomes at airports.
It was agreed that the review should concentrate on Customs activities in relation to passenger
facilitation rather than its enforcement role. However, both functions interact and it is not therefore
possible to completely exclude consideration of Customs enforcement activities.

1.2 METHODOLOGY
1.2.1 FIELD VISITS
The review essentially consisted of two stages. The first stage, conducted primarily during
September 2006, comprised field visits to the four representative international airports agreed in
the Terms of Reference. These airports were (in order of visitation) Melbourne Tullamarine (MEL),
Perth International (PER), Adelaide (ADL) and Sydney Kingsford Smith (SYD).
Between two and three days was spent at each airport conducting a mixture of:
observation of passenger flows and overall activity in Customs controlled areas. These
observations were carried out during the busiest periods of the day for each process;
a review of the extent, nature and effectiveness of Customs and other relevant signage;


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discussions with Customs personnel regarding work practices / business processes and
staffing issues; and
consultation with the airport operator, airlines and any other relevant agencies regarding
external issues affecting Customs processes.
Two supplementary visits were also carried out to Brisbane International (BNE) and Cairns (CNS).
The primary purpose of the visit to BNE was to assist in planning for the main field visits. In the
case of CNS, members of the review team were in the area on other business following the
completion of the main visits. It was agreed that a visit to the airport represented a valuable
opportunity for further comparison. These supplementary visits were shorter and less extensive
than the main visits only 3 - 4 hours in duration and were timed to coincide with busy periods.
1.2.2 DATA ANALYSIS AND REVIEW
The second stage, carried out during October 2006, focussed on analysis and review of the
findings of the field visits, consideration of the main objectives of the assignment and the
preparation of this report.

1.3 CONTEXT
1.3.1 CUSTOMS STRATEGIC STATEMENT
This review was carried out in the context of the corporate priorities in the Australian Customs
Services Strategic Statement 2006-07. These are to:
maintain the communitys confidence in the way Customs goes about performing its role; and
deliver on Customs border protection, facilitation and revenue commitments to Government.
One of the key improvement priorities identified in the 2006-07 Strategic Statement is the need to
focus on improving the consistency and efficiency of Customs operations.
With these priorities in mind, this review had three broad themes:
efficiency;
consistency; and
the quality of the passenger experience.





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1.3.2 THE AIRPORT ENVIRONMENT
Every airport is subject to traffic with different characteristics, in terms of:
annual passenger traffic levels;
the distribution of flights throughout the day and week, and the extent to which these occur on-
schedule;
the proportions of passengers travelling on business or for leisure;
the mix of airlines and aircraft sizes serving the airport; and
the destinations served and the mix of passenger nationalities.
Differences in these factors result in different demands for resources, such that two airports are
unlikely to have similar resource requirements no matter how similar they appear.
Nevertheless, some general characteristics of passenger flows at airports are worth highlighting. In
particular, airport traffic is characterised by relatively short periods of very high demand, combined
with long periods of little or no demand. Airline scheduling considerations result in passenger
demand profiles that are rarely uniform across the day. Rather, passenger flows tend to be very
high for parts of the day and very low for other parts. This is true for all but the very busiest airports
in the world. However, the variation in flows over time tends to be more acute at airports with lower
traffic levels.
Such patterns make if very difficult to achieve high efficiencies in the utilisation of resources at
airports. To avoid queues completely would be financially prohibitive, in terms of the quantity of
resources and infrastructure required to cope with the highest demand peaks.




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2.0 WORK PRACTICES & BUSINESS PROCESSES
2.1 PASSENGER MANAGEMENT
Passenger flows at airports display two particular features which lead to an inevitable build-up of
queues: variability in the time between successive passengers arriving for service at a particular
process (such as check-in, security screening, or the inwards or outwards control points); and the
fact that passengers often arrive in groups rather than individually. Processing times at each stage
are also subject to variability. This variability can lead to delays (i.e. queues) even when average
passenger flow rates are lower than average processing rates. A particular characteristic of airport
queues is that they can develop relatively quickly, over a period of as little as a few minutes, and
take a much longer time to dissipate.
Since queues are unavoidable, effective management of waiting passengers is important to provide
an acceptable passenger experience. Issues such as infrastructure availability and configuration
(discussed in Section 4.1) affect not only the amount of queuing passengers are subjected to but
also the quality of that experience. Passenger management is especially important when there are
infrastructure limitations to overcome.
Effective passenger management can also have flow-on efficiencies in terms of Customs
processes. By removing delays caused by passengers being unprepared for forthcoming
procedures, the whole process can operate more smoothly and quickly. The use of signs to inform
passengers about their responsibilities in the process is discussed in Section 4.2. However,
interaction with people is another method that can be equally, if not more, effective. Issues relating
to the active management of passengers are discussed in the following sections.
2.1.1 ENTRY CONTROL POINT
Overt interaction between Customs and passengers in the arrivals concourse prior to the entry
control point (ECP) is limited, but includes some signage (discussed in Section 4.2) and the use of
detector dogs. From the point of disembarkation of the aircraft passengers are guided by signs
provided by the airport operator and in some cases by airline personnel.
2.1.1.1 Incoming Passenger Cards
Upon entry to the ECP, passengers are directed to the appropriate primary line module by signage
and in some cases by marshals. Before entering the queue for the primary line, passengers must
complete an incoming passenger card (IPC). Some passengers need to do this in the ECP, either
because they have not had the opportunity to do this previously or because they require a foreign-
language version of the card.


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The location of benches containing the IPCs is often such that they are not obvious to passengers.
This is due to the need to keep these benches out of main flow and, in part, to limitations of the
infrastructure in the ECP queuing areas. In many cases, passengers are required to look
backwards to see the benches. Although foreign-language IPCs are available at the benches in the
ECP area, it was noted that the availability of these may not be obvious to passengers unless they
ask. The labelling of foreign-language IPCs was generally only in English and not visible from any
distance.
It was both reported and observed by the review team that a significant number of passengers
present incomplete or incorrect IPCs to Customs Officers at both the ECP and later at the entry to
the Secondary Examination Area. This can lead to delays in both locations whilst the
documentation is adjusted. In many cases, it is likely that this results from passengers completing
an IPC that is not in their first language.
There may be a role for other industry organisations, such as the airlines and airport operators, in
ensuring passengers are adequately prepared in terms of arrival documentation prior to reaching
the ECP. Customs might also consider the extent to which mechanisms such as those used by
AQIS to inform passengers on-board aircraft through the use of pre-arrival messages could be
employed to this end.
Recommendation 1: Methods of better communicating the availability of incoming passenger
cards to passengers, including those in foreign languages, should be
considered. The role of other stakeholders, and the use of pre-arrival
messages, whether paid for by Customs or through changes to legislation
requirements, in preparing passengers for incoming border procedures
should be reviewed.
2.1.1.2 Queuing arrangements
Typical queuing arrangements for the ECP are shown in Figure 1. Generally, queuing
arrangements for the ECP adopted the same physical layout at all of the airports visited: that of a
snake queue. Separate queues for Australian and also, in most cases, New Zealand passport
holders (and their families) are provided at all of the airports visited. This arrangement is
considered to be both desirable and acceptable due to the high proportion of travellers who are of
these nationalities. However, it can lead to complications when there is an imbalance in the
proportions of nationalities on a particular flight, or series of flights. It was noted that some airports
do not encourage New Zealand passport holders to queue with Australian nationals. This is due to
the relatively low volumes of New Zealand nationals passing through these airports. However, from
the point of view of consistency of the arrivals experience it is recommended that the practice of
including both Australian and New Zealand passport holders in a separate ECP queue be
standardised.


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Recommendation 2: The practice of providing separate queues for Australian and New
Zealand passport holders, and for holders of other passports, at the entry
control point should be standardised at all airports, in the interests of
ensuring a consistent arrival experience for passengers.

Figure 1 Typical ECP Queue Arrangements
A dedicated channel is also provided at all airports for the use of airline crew. This lane also
provides priority processing for mobility impaired passengers being assisted through the Customs
process by the airlines, domestic passengers and APEC card holders.
Queues for the ECP were generally observed to be orderly and well-managed. However, a few
potential issues were noted.
Generally, the queuing barriers are left open initially, in order to prevent the first passengers from a
flight having to snake unnecessarily (by following the dotted arrows in Figure 1). However, queues
develop quickly once a flight arrives and it was observed that there is usually a very short window
during which this initial arrangement is adequate. The queue quickly extends beyond the cordoned
area and the barriers need adjusting to divert passengers into the snake. If the barriers are not
rearranged quickly at the necessary time this situation results in congestion at the rear of the
queuing despite adequate queuing space being available further forward. This appeared to be a
particular problem at PER, where the ECP is fed from a downwards escalator. Such situations are
not desirable from the point of view of passenger comfort or safety and lead to a negative
perception of the quality of the passenger experience.
At airports where a marshal was observed at the entrance to the ECP queues, this practice
appeared to be well received by passengers. The marshal was able to assist passengers to join the


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correct queue and was also able to adjust the queuing arrangements quickly as and when required.
It was not obvious whether the marshal was specifically advising people of the need to complete an
IPC, but it was observed that they were able to assist people with queries about the procedures
generally.
At most airports, each main snake queue feeds into shorter queues from which passengers move
to individual ECP races. This process does not appear to require a marshal and none was
observed during the site visits. This queuing arrangement ensures each Custom Officer receives a
continuous supply of passengers. It therefore avoids the inefficiencies that can occur when
passengers feed to desks from a single point and leads to the fastest ECP cycle times.
It was noted that at SYD, Australian & New Zealand passport holders form individual queues for
each ECP channel. This arrangement is equivalent, in terms of processing efficiency, to the snake
arrangements adopted elsewhere. However there are two reasons in particular for considering
changing this arrangement:
There is unused space between the lines of queuing passengers. The use of a snake
arrangement could help to make more efficient use of the space in the ECP area, thereby
allowing more passengers to be accommodated within a guided queuing arrangement.
Queues like this can be perceived as less fair than a snake queue. Although unfair situations
(situations in which passengers do not get processed in the order in which they joined the
collective bank of queues) are expected to be less frequent for Australian & New Zealand
passengers than for other nationalities, they might still occur or be perceived to be occurring.
The use of a main snake queue would avoid this.
2.1.1.3 Processing at the ECP
Detailed consideration of the procedures undertaken by Customs Officers in processing
passengers at the ECP desk itself was not within the scope of this review. However, some general
observations were made concerning the extent to which passengers are prepared for the
procedures that will be carried out there.
The principal observation was that relatively long delays can result at the ECP desk due to
passengers not having completed their IPCs correctly. This leads to a series of questions from the
Customs Officer to establish basic facts including the passengers flight number and whether they
have any items to declare. This was especially noticeable in the case of non-Australian and New
Zealand passport holders. The provision of additional resources upstream of the ECP, before
passengers join the queue or whilst they are waiting, to inform passengers of the need to complete
their IPC and to assist them in completing it correctly could reduce these delays.



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These resources could be provided by Customs or by other industry stakeholders such as the
airport operators and the airlines. Even if Customs resources were used, a net reduction in ECP
resources would certainly be expected at the larger airports (SYD, MEL, BNE and possibly PER).
These resources could be redeployed to fulfilling Customs enforcement functions or to managing
passenger congestion in the baggage hall and Secondary Examination Area (SEA). If passenger
preparation could be combined with a relocation of certain enforcement activities (as discussed in
Section 2.2.2) the net resource savings to Customs would be even more significant. At other
airports the benefits of this strategy may be less clear, as there may be less scope to reduce cycle
times. The impacts of this strategy on ECP resource requirements at smaller airports would
therefore need to be reviewed on an individual basis.
Recommendation 3: Measures to reduce entry control point cycle times by improving
passenger readiness should be adopted at SYD, MEL and BNE. Customs
should seek to secure the cooperation of airlines and airport operators to
achieve this. The potential benefits of this strategy at other airports should
be reviewed.
2.1.2 BAGGAGE HALL & SECONDARY EXAMINATION AREA
Passenger flows in the baggage hall and queuing arrangements at the entrance to the Secondary
Examination Area (SEA) were observed to be consistently problematic at all of the airports visited,
with the exception of CNS. This situation is ultimately caused by a fundamental lack of capacity in
the SEA for the conduct of AQIS inspections (discussed further in Section 4.1). This lack of
capacity is compounded by the fact that the baggage hall and SEA infrastructure configurations are
different at each airport. Nevertheless, the manner in which passengers are managed in the
baggage hall, through the Customs marshal point and whilst queuing and waiting in the SEA in
many cases exacerbates these problems
2.1.2.1 Baggage hall
At the larger airports, the size of the baggage hall and the need for extensive queuing space in the
SEA dictate that more than one entry point to the SEA queue is necessary. This has historically
been achieved through the use of red and green channels.
The use of the red (Goods to Declare) and green (Nothing to Declare) exit system was observed
at both PER and at SYD (Pier C). This arrangement appeared to be problematic because of the
large volumes of passengers using the red exit. This is more likely to be due to the large range of
items that require a quarantine declaration than to large numbers of passengers declaring items of
Customs interest. There was also evidence of uncertainty on the part of passengers about which
exit they should use. This seemed to be due to passengers not knowing whether they need to
declare certain items. Several passengers were observed asking Customs Officers whether they
were in the correct queue. These officers were unable direct passengers in the red queue that they
could use the green exit, because of a lack of authority to make decisions regarding AQIS


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declaration requirements. At PER the situation was worsened by the fact that the queuing
arrangements for the red exit prevented many passengers from seeing or reaching the green exit.
The use of the red and green channel system is in accordance with World Customs Organisation
(WCO) recommendations (incorporated by ICAO as Appendix 6 to Annex 9 to the Convention on
International Civil Aviation). However, given the high level of intervention required by AQIS on
passengers selecting the green channel, the WCO recommendations can be considered
inappropriate in the case of Australia. The review team understands that the use of the red/green
exist system is being discontinued but that this change is contingent on individual airport operators
modifying the infrastructure accordingly. Customs should work with the necessary stakeholders to
expedite these changes to ensure a consistent arrival experience for passengers.
Recommendation 4: Customs should work to expedite the necessary changes to infrastructure
to discontinue the use of the red and green exit system at all airports,
through the passenger facilitation task force. Standardisation should be
achieved as quickly as possible in the interests of consistency.
In situations with multiple exits but no red/green distinction (SYD ITB, MEL and BNE), the
distribution of passengers to these exits is prone to difficulties. This is mainly due to the proximity of
the queuing barriers to the end of the baggage carousels. As a result of baggage carousel
assignments, often situations occur where one exit naturally receives more demand than the other.
The resulting congestion around the exit point blocks to cross-flow of passengers between the
baggage carousels and the Secondary Examination Area (SEA) queuing area, preventing
passengers from using the other exit. This results in very long queues at one exit whilst the other
exit is relatively under-utilised. In many cases, when Customs or AQIS officers directed the
passengers, the congestion eased considerably and the level of service in the baggage hall
improved. It is the opinion of the review team that border agency personnel are, in general, not
sufficiently active in managing the distribution of passengers to exits in the baggage hall.
Congestion around the Customs marshal point develops quickly and can become disorderly in a
matter of seconds. Personnel who are dedicated to actively managing passenger flows in the
baggage hall are therefore required to anticipate and pro-actively address these situations as they
develop. Passive measures such as signs are unlikely to be effective in these situations.


Recommendation 5: Sufficient resources should be provided in busy periods dedicated to the
active management of passengers attempting to exit the baggage hall.
Customs should use the passenger facilitation task force to investigate
necessary capacity enhancements within the Secondary Examination
Area (SEA).


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2.1.2.2 Customs marshal point
Passengers are required to show their IPC to a Customs Officer at the marshal point. It was
observed at several airports that this often results in a queue forming upstream of the marshal
point, even before a queue has developed downstream. An extreme case of this was observed at
ADL, in which the queue for the Customs marshal extended around the baggage hall and
prevented passengers from accessing the baggage reclaim carousel (Figure 2 ) it is acknowledged
that this was probably not a typical situation, due to the use of Customs Trainees at the marshal
point on that particular day. However, it illustrates the potential for this process to become
problematic.

Figure 2 Queuing for Customs marshal point
At SYD, it was acknowledged by Customs personnel that two marshals were required at each exit
point to avoid this situation. However it was noted by the review team that the application of this
policy was not always the case. A similar situation to that described above can be seen in Figure 3
In this case, a single flight arrival, results in a queue around and between the baggage carousels
as people wait to pass through the Customs marshal point. The empty queuing races beyond can
be seen.


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Figure 3 Queuing for the SECONDARY EXAMINATION AREA (SEA) at SYD
Recommendation 6: Sufficient marshal resources should be provided to prevent the Customs
marshal point from being a limiting factor in the queuing process for the
Secondary Examination Area.
After passing through the Customs marshal point, passengers in which Customs have no interest
then have to queue again to show their IPC to an AQIS marshal. It was noted in some cases that,
despite the short distance between the Customs and AQIS marshals, passengers returned their
IPC to their pocket between the two marshals. This could be avoided if the Customs marshal were
to advise or remind passengers to show their card to the AQIS marshal when they direct them to
the AQIS channel. Marshalling acts as a further constriction of passenger flow through the
Secondary Examination Area (SEA). Therefore, anything Customs Officers can do to speed up the
flow of passengers will serve to improve the queuing and waiting experience for many passengers
outside of the busiest periods at the larger airports. If the Customs and AQIS marshal duties could
be combined at a single point, it is expected that this would offer a substantial improvement in the
flow of passengers queuing for the SEA. Streamlining the marshalling process for the SEA would
also realise savings in resources that could be diverted to enforcement activities or the
management of passengers in the baggage hall.
Recommendation 7: The opportunity for streamlining the Customs and AQIS marshalling duties
for the Secondary Examination Area should be investigated through the
passenger facilitation task force.


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2.1.2.3 Queuing arrangements
Because of the different physical layouts of the baggage hall and Secondary Examination Area
(SEA) at different airports, queuing arrangements for the SEA vary. Queues for Customs
processes downstream of the marshal point were observed to be generally not problematic.
Adequate space appears to be available for those passengers awaiting baggage inspections in
most cases.
Queues upstream of the Customs marshal point, in the baggage hall, were observed to be
generally poorly managed. At the busier airports (SYD and MEL) this resulted in an undefined
grouping of people waiting to pass through the Customs marshal points (the crows feet effect).
During the visit to SYD (Pier B), a trial of a new queuing arrangement to provide additional queuing
space for the SEA was underway. The arrangement is intended to avoid the crows feet situation.
Although it does undoubtedly ensure a greater number of people are queuing in an orderly rather
than haphazard fashion than would otherwise be the case, the new arrangement potentially just
moves this problem further into the baggage hall, where it has greater impact on circulation in the
baggage hall.
It is recognised that queues upstream of the Customs marshal point cannot always be avoided.
Nevertheless, some simple management of those queues to direct the direction in which they
develop could minimise the impact they have on the circulation of passengers in the baggage hall
(see Section 2.1.2.1).
The review team notes that attempts to improve the queuing arrangements both upstream and
downstream of the Customs marshal point have been made on an airport-by-airport basis.
However, despite the difficulties presented by individual airport configurations, it would appear that
there is room to further increase the effectiveness of these arrangements at some airports.
Recommendation 8: Queuing arrangements for the Secondary Examination Area at individual
airports should be further scrutinised for their effectiveness, ease of
understanding by passengers, the efficiency with which they utilise the
available space and the extent to which they impact on passenger flows in
the baggage hall.
2.1.2.4 Express exit gate
It was observed in SYD that an express exit gate (EEG) initiative was in place. The EEG is seen by
AQIS as a proactive way to manage risk by preventing those that pose no threat to the border from
queuing for the Secondary Examination Area (SEA).
Recommendation 9: The value of the express exit gate system in relieving congestion in the
Secondary Examination Area should be reviewed through the passenger
facilitation task force.


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2.1.3 OUTWARDS CONTROL POINT
2.1.3.1 Outgoing Passenger Cards
At some airports, a security guard provided by the airlines, or a voluntary airport ambassador, is
stationed at the entrance to the OCP to ensure one or all of the following:
all persons entering the Customs controlled area hold a valid boarding card;
passengers have the necessary documentation ready for presentation; and
no trolleys are taken into the Customs controlled area.
The extent to which these non-Customs resources are provided varies between airports. In some
cases they are provided all the time that the OCP is open, in other cases only during the busiest
periods. The most important function, from the point of view of Customs processing, is ensuring the
all passengers complete (correctly) an outgoing passenger card (OPC). A significant number of
passengers at SYD were observed presenting at the primary line without a completed OPC. This
required them to go to the back of the queuing area to fill one out. Not only is this frustrating for the
passengers, who may have already queued for a substantial period, but it reduces the efficiency of
Customs processing operations.
As described in Section 2.1.1.3, substantial benefits could flow to Customs as a result of even
slight reductions in OCP cycle times. Ensuring all passengers have a completed OPC would help
to reduce the average cycle time. Although the provision of an additional Customs resources to
fulfil this function might be justified on the basis of the resource savings it would achieve for
Customs, such an approach seems unnecessary given that the function could be performed
adequately by the resources already available.
Recommendation 10: Customs should seek to secure the cooperation of airlines and airport
operators to ensure passengers have completed their OPC before
entering the queue and have it ready for inspection at the desk along with
their passport. This principle should be established at a national level as
well as between the regions and individual airports.
As with the ECP, the location and visibility of OPCs was not always optimal. At SYD (Pier B) during
the peak period a large number of passengers were observed using the benches to complete
OPCs. This created congestion around the entrance to the OCP queue.
2.1.3.2 Queuing arrangements
Queuing arrangements for the OCP are much simpler than for the ECP, due to the fact that no
distinction is made between the different nationalities of passengers. At most airports, operates in


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the same way as those at the ECP (see Section 2.1.1.2). The use of marshals in the OCP queue is
not generally the case at most airports. The exception is in SYD (Pier B). Given that at other
airports the OCP queue manages to operate satisfactorily without a dedicated marshal, the need
for one at this particular location might be reviewed.
It was reported during the review that the implementation of an electronic queue management
system is being considered to avoid the need for a marshal. This could have a detrimental impact
on OCP processing cycle times. The potential impacts of electronic queue management systems
are discussed in more detail in Section 4.3.2.
2.1.3.3 Passenger presentation behaviour
One of the main difficulties for Customs with the departures process is the difficulty in predicting
when passengers will proceed through the OCP. Two aspects of passenger behaviour were
reported as being significant in this regard:
the lack of control over passengers between the time they check-in and the time they proceed
to the OCP; and
the impact of large groups of passengers presenting together.
Ideally, from Customs viewpoint, relocation of the security screening point immediately ahead of
the OCP would assist in providing a smoother and more controlled flow of passengers. This would
reduce the queuing space required and potentially offer reductions in the number of Customs
Officers required in the peak period to maintain acceptable queue lengths. Customs, through the
passenger facilitation task force, should press for the relocation of the security screening point
immediately prior to the OCP, as has been included in the current redevelopment plans for BNE
and MEL.
Recommendation 11: Customs should, through the passenger facilitation task force, encourage
airport operators to relocate the security screening point immediately prior
to the outwards control point wherever possible.
Even so, mechanisms by which variations in departing passenger flows can be better anticipated
are required. There is very little that Customs can do to ensure that passengers leave adequate
time to complete Customs formalities at the OCP and clear security in advance of their flight
departure time. This is the joint responsibility of the airlines and the airport operators. However,
Customs would be in a stronger position to avoid criticism if it developed and promoted a
performance standard for queuing and processing through the OCP. The definition and use of such
as standard is discussed further in Section 5.1.3.2.
At PER, late presentation of passengers at the OCP appears to be particularly common due to the
number of concessions landside and the quality of the waiting space airside. Here, the review team
observed Customs Officers keeping track of the number of passengers on each flight processed


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through the OCP by using a mechanical card counter. Simple comparison with the number of
passengers booked on each flight allows any late surges of passengers to be anticipated and
immediate resource requirements to be more precisely estimated. Whilst counting cards would be
impractical at larger airports, information could be made accessible to the OCP supervisor at each
airport to allow them to track in real time passenger flows through the OCP.
Recommendation 12: The number of passengers that have passed through the OCP for each
flight should be monitored and compared with the known passenger
numbers in real time to assist in determining immediately forthcoming
resource requirements for the OCP to enable achievement of agreed
performance outcomes.
The impact of tour groups was highlighted at a number of airports as negatively impacting on
Customs ability to minimise queue times. The impact of tour groups on achievement of queue time
standards was investigated using computer simulation modelling. The results revealed that, for
data typical of MEL, the impact of including a proportion of large groups reduced the facilitation rate
achieved by between 0.5 and 1.0% if processing resources remain the same. This translates to an
increase in average queue time per passenger of 30 40 seconds.
In order to deal effectively with large groups of passengers arriving at the same time, Customs
requires two key pieces of information: advance notice of their imminent arrival; and the ability to
divert resources temporarily to the OCP processing function. The former can be achieved, to a
certain extent, by the use of CCTV resources to monitor the development of groups of passengers
in the landside departure concourse. Such a system is being developed at SYD. However, this can
only provide a relatively short period of notice about impending groups. It also relies on Customs
personnel having the time to monitor the CCTV images sufficiently regularly.
A superior arrangement would be to secure the cooperation of the airlines in passing on
information about large groups of passengers. This information should, to a relatively reliable
extent, be available to the airlines through the check-in process. Advance notice of the presence of
tour groups on particular flights could be used in conjunction with CCTV monitoring to anticipate
resource requirements.
If Customs were to promulgate and commit to an outwards passenger facilitation standard then this
should be on the understanding that its achievement can only be achieved if the airlines provide
information about group check-ins to Customs.
Recommendation 13: Customs should secure the cooperation of the airlines in developing and
implementing a formal arrangement for advising Customs, as far in
advance as possible, of the presence of large groups of passengers on
flights and providing notification when these check-in.


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2.2 PASSENGER PERCEPTIONS
2.2.1 CUSTOMS RESPONSIBILITIES
There is a widespread but inaccurate perception amongst travellers that Customs is responsible for
all of the negative experiences flowing to passengers from the time of disembarkation to clearance
of the Secondary Examination Area (SEA). This situation is not helped by the fact that airport
operators themselves sometimes convey the same inaccurate perception. In particular people often
attribute all delays as a result of AQIS intervention in the SEA to Customs. This may be due to a
combination of:
a lack of understanding of the split of responsibilities between different agencies;
the high visibility of Customs officers relative to those of other agencies, including AQIS; and
an absence of interest in who is responsible for each part of the process.
Passengers passing through an airport are subject to a sequence of processes, each of which is
the responsibility of different agencies. All of these separate processes interact, either directly or
indirectly. The state of flow of passengers in one process, therefore, is a function of the state of
flow in all other processes. The capacity of the whole system is constrained by the activity with the
lowest throughput. Ultimately, therefore, responsibility for the smooth flow of passengers through
an airport must rest with the airport operator as the only stakeholder with influence over all of the
processes.
Customs should work, at a high level, to ensure that airport operators and other influential
stakeholders clearly understand the interactions between the different processes in their airports
and the extent to which each agency is responsible.
2.2.2 CUSTOMS OFFICER ACTIVITY
A further widespread misconception surrounds the activity of Customs Officers during busy
periods. There is a perception that many Customs officers are doing nothing when in fact they are
carrying out essential enforcement duties. This is a misconception that, it seems, is an easy target
for passengers and even the media to spread when criticising the arrivals process at some of
Australias busiest international airports.
During the field visits to airports the following situations were observed that were considered to
have the potential to fuel this misconception:
multiple Customs Officers allocated to marshal duties with only one checking IPCs;
the presence of Customs Trainees undergoing on-the-job training with accompanying mentors.



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Despite the inaccuracy of the perception it is considered important that Customs acts to adjust
wherever possible any work practices that unnecessarily serve to add to this misconception. Whilst
recognising the importance of Customs enforcement activities, the review team believes there is
potential to make adjustments to some of these practices without reducing their effectiveness.
Recommendation 14: Customs should review internally its publicly visible enforcement work
practices for the potential to carry out these activities in other locations so
that the officers conducting them appear more active.
2.3 INTERACTION WITH OTHER AGENCIES
Customs interacts on a day-to-day basis with a number of major stakeholders in the airport
environment. The activity of these stakeholders can have a significant influence on Customs ability
to perform its passenger facilitation and border protection duties at airports. It is, therefore, in
Customs interest to manage as far as possible these interactions.
Key stakeholders with which Customs has an interest in managing interactions include:
The Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC)
the Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service (AQIS);
airport owners/operators; and
airlines (and their representatives).
In general, there is a requirement for closer local relationships with all of these stakeholders. A
framework for cooperation that extends beyond the level of individual airports is also required, with
a formal process to escalate issues which cant be resolved locally.

Recommendation 15: Customs should ensure that it does everything in its power to effectively
manage its interactions with other airport stakeholders, in the interest of
enhancing Customs ability to perform its portfolio of responsibilities as
efficiently as possible.
The nature of the interaction between Customs and each of these stakeholders is discussed in the
following sub-sections.
2.3.1 DIAC
The principal relationship between Customs and DIAC is the ECP/OCP processing activities
performed by Customs Officers on behalf of DIAC. The Customs / DIAC interface appears to work
well for both inwards and outwards processes. DIAC officers are closely positioned for Customs
referrals, in most cases seated adjacent to the Customs Primary Support Officer (PSO) at the
Primary Support Point (PSP). This achieves minimum disruption to the processing of other


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passengers and allows DIAC to attend to any issues referred in a subtle and efficient manner. Even
so, there may be potential to reduce the double-handling of passengers through even greater
levels of integration between Customs and DIAC. Situations which require passengers to be
referred firstly from the primary line to the Customs PSO and subsequently to DIAC can contribute
negatively to the passenger experience. This situation could be prevented, and resource savings
realised, by consolidating the procedures carried out at the PSP into a single organisation.
Recommendation 16: Customs and DIAC should consider whether there is scope to consolidate
the processes at the primary support point so that they are carried out by a
single authority.
A particular problem that was highlighted in discussions with Customs Officers was the need at
some airports to continually refer travel documents to the PSP for a repetitive issue. Referrals to
the PSP take time which contributes negatively to average processing times at the control point.
Minimising the occurrence of these has the potential to realise significant resource savings (see
Section 2.1.1.3). Unnecessary referrals also consume the attention of the PSO who, in some
cases, has other responsibilities relating to the efficient function of the ECP or (more commonly)
the OCP.
By analysing information on the nature of each referral to the PSP and the associated outcome,
any trends in referrals can be identified. Suitable measures to prevent further recurrences of
common referrals such as document machine-readability issues, can then be agreed between
Customs and DIAC.
Recommendation 17: Customs and DIAC should cooperate to minimise the referral of
documents to the primary support point for common issues that can be
resolved quickly and effectively at the primary line.

2.3.2 AQIS
Customs and AQIS share responsibility for the activity in the Secondary Examination Area (SEA),
however as noted elsewhere the capacity of AQIS processing here has flow-on impact on other
areas, in particular the baggage hall. Despite this, there appear to be no formal arrangements in
place for the sharing of responsibilities between AQIS and Customs in relation to the management
of passengers within and attempting to exit the baggage hall.
The nature of the relationship between Customs and AQIS varied across the four airports visited.
Given that cooperation between AQIS and Customs personnel on a day-to-day basis is vital to the
effective functioning of the Secondary Examination Area (SEA), clearer responsibilities and
stronger relationships between the two organisations are essential to address the problems
currently experienced at many airports.


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Recommendation 18: Customs must work to achieve a stronger relationship and clearer division
of responsibilities between Customs and AQIS with respect to the
management of passengers in the Secondary Examination Area (SEA)
and baggage hall. This should be achieved through formal agreements at
a national level.
2.3.3 AIRPORT OPERATORS
Relationships with airport operators appear, to a large extent, to be focussed around commercial
issues relating to space occupied.
In certain cases, airport operators have attributed to Customs the responsibility for many issues
that manifest in Customs controlled areas, regardless of whether the root cause of these problems
is within Customs control. The level of understanding by airport operators of Customs and AQIS
processes, and the interactions between them, is variable but generally low. Consequently, there
appears to be a need for Customs (and AQIS) to educate airport operators about the requirements
of the regulatory framework.
It also seems that airport operators, when considering redevelopment plans, may not always
involve Customs early enough in the process. Fundamental decisions affecting the amount and
layout of space for Customs activities may already have been made by the time Customs has sight
of the proposals. As a result, Customs may be left to deliver its objectives whilst continually
endeavouring to overcome infrastructure limitations that might have been avoided through earlier
consultation.
On a more immediate level, arrangements for things such as baggage trolley storage and
replenishment can affect activity in the baggage hall by restricting the space available for
passenger circulation.
Recommendation 19: Customs must educate airport operators more effectively about the impact
of the decisions they take on the ability of Customs to expedite the flow of
passengers through the airport.
2.3.4 AIRLINES
Airlines have principal control over the flight schedules which dictate Customs resource
requirements. Whilst Customs has no influence over the shape of airline schedules, the provision
of more complete and accurate information by the airlines can help Customs in short-term planning
to accommodate the inevitable variations from schedule that occur in practice.
There are a number of areas where expanded relationships with airlines and their representatives
can improve Customs ability to perform its role and streamline the passenger processing. These
include airlines providing more accurate passenger numbers for both arrivals and departures.


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Earlier advice on actual arrival times is essential as differences of as little as ten minutes either
side of schedule can create major blockages and delays in the ECP and Secondary Examination
Area (SEA). This is especially important at smaller airports. The potential for real-time access to
airlines operations control software, which can provide up-to-the-minute information on computed
gate arrival times and numbers of passengers, should be investigated.
Recommendation 20: Customs should investigate the opportunities for access to and sharing of
airline arrival time and passenger loading information in the most efficient
manner.
Baggage delivery arrangements were reported at many airports as affecting operations in the
queuing area for the Secondary Examination Area (SEA). The assignment of baggage carousels is
a function of airline handling arrangements and Customs has little opportunity to influence this,
particularly at larger airports. Nevertheless, the level of Customs influence can be improved
through better relationships with airlines and airport operators. This is evidenced by changes to
carousel allocation made at SYD to facilitate the express exit gate trial. At PER, with only one
handling agent, arrangements are in place regarding the order of assignment which appear to work
well.
Recommendation 21: Customs should continue to build relationships with airline representatives
to facilitate beneficial baggage delivery arrangements wherever possible.



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3.0 STAFFING
3.1 RESOURCE ALLOCATION & DEPLOYMENT
There are three aspects to this process:
roster development, primarily through biannual roster reviews to accommodate airline
schedules changes usually effective in October and April each year;
operational planning, to determine daily resource requirements for each function and initial
allocation of tasks to Customs Officers; and
dynamic redeployment of personnel throughout the day/shift of operations.
Each stage is considered in more detail in the following sub-sections.
3.1.1 ROSTER DEVELOPMENT
Biannual reviews are conducted once the new seasons airline schedules are published. Following
this the resource requirements are calculated and the roster build process commences. This entire
process is done manually and based on historical data and the forthcoming airline schedule
patterns.
3.1.1.1 Primary Line Resource Requirements
The process commences with the allocation of staffing to the primary ECP and OCP functions.
Currently, each airport determines these resource requirements based on a simplistic formula-
based method. The exact process used varies at each airport. Nevertheless, the methodology at
each airport is fundamentally the same. This is as follows:
1) Passenger flow rates for each day are determined from the flight schedules and average
passenger loads.
2) Each day is broken down into periods. (These might be hours or, for smaller airports, a single
flight arrival might constitute one period). For each period, the number of primary officers
required to process the number of passengers arriving in that period is calculated
The current resource planning methodology is based on scheduled aircraft arrival and departure
times, average passenger loads and average processing rates. Once the actual aircraft arrival
times and passenger loads are known for a given day, this method can be expected to provide a
sufficiently close approximation of the number of primary officers required throughout the day. It is
therefore applicable for operational planning purposes (see Section 3.1.2). However, the current
resource planning approach is not necessarily the most suitable for long-term workforce planning
tasks such as roster development, because:


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It ignores the uncertainty that surrounds aircraft arrival times, passenger loadings and
passenger processing cycle times.
It does not explicitly take into account of the need to achieve particular passenger facilitation
performance targets.
The importance of aircraft arrival times in particular is illustrated by Figure 4 which shows the
distribution of actual arrival times relative to schedule at MEL during the 2005-06 schedule year.
Only around 22% of flights arrived within 5 minutes of the scheduled time of arrival (STA), and
more than 40% of flights were off schedule by more than 15 minutes. Almost 20% of flights arrived
30 minutes or more early or late.
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Actual Arrival Time - STA (Mins)
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An improved methodology would take account of these factors. The current process and a
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Figure 5 Long-term resource planning methods
A comparison of the number of primary officers predicted by the current and enhanced planning
methods was undertaken. The results are illustrated in Figure 6
Two significant conclusions can be drawn from these results:
i) Firstly, the current methodology may underestimate the number of inwards primary officers
required to be available during the peak period in order to meet the current inwards passenger
facilitation standard.
ii) Secondly, the required distribution of these resources across the day varies substantially from
that which might be expected if it is assumed that flights always arrive on schedule.


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Figure 6 Comparison of resource requirement predictions - ECP
Based on these conclusions, it is suggested that the current formula-based methods do not take
sufficient account of this variability and therefore do not predict the potential long-term resource
requirement for primary officers with sufficient accuracy. Without a rigorous baseline predicted level
of resources, it is impossible to ensure efficiency in rostering practices (as discussed in Section
5.2.1).
Given the quantity and quality of the data available to Customs, there is no reason why historical
variations in aircraft arrival times and other factors cannot be incorporated in the long-term
resource planning process more rigorously. This could be achieved through the application of
computer simulation modelling specific to individual airports.
Recommendation 22: In planning long-term resource requirements, adequate account must be
taken of anticipated variations in passenger numbers and aircraft arrival
times. Resource requirements should be planned explicitly to achieve the
current specified performance targets. Adequate resources must be
allocated to resource planning activities to achieve these objectives.
Whilst from the above discussion it can be concluded that a more rigorous approach to resource
planning will lead to an increased number of Customs Officers being required to fulfil primary line
functions, it should be recognised that these officers will not be required to carry out primary
processing functions for all of the time that they are available to do so. The increased resource
availability will, however, afford Customs greater flexibility and confidence in deploying resources to
meet actual primary processing requirements on any given shift. The increase in resources


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predicted by the enhanced planning method over the current one is approximately 16% (in terms of
Customs Officer-hours). Depending on the traffic levels and distribution on a particular day, some
of this increased resource capacity can be devoted to other functions, such as enforcement.
Furthermore, having increased resources available from rostered personnel should reduce the
extent of more expensive overtime that might otherwise be used to achieve passenger processing
targets.
An improved long-term resource planning process will not necessarily, therefore, lead to an
increase in the total Customs resource requirement. However, both an integrated approach to
planning overall resource requirements and sufficient flexibility in the deployment of officers are
required in order to ensure the most efficient supply of resources.
3.1.1.2 Other Resource Requirements
Procedures for estimating enforcement resource requirements differ from airport to airport,
according to the size and other characteristics of the operation. There would appear to be benefits
in a more formalised long-term planning process for enforcement resources. The operational
planning methodology used at SYD to determine resource requirements (described in Section
3.1.2) would appear to have the potential to be extended to long-term planning. This would allow a
more systematic assessment of the level of enforcement resources to be included in long-term
workforce planning, by taking account of the anticipated risk levels of individual flights.
Recommendation 23: Long-term resource planning for Customs enforcement activities should
be carried out as rigorously as possible and the results incorporated into
the overall workforce planning process.
It is also important when planning overall resource requirements to take due account of the extent
to which the same resources will be available to carry out different functions (i.e. the extent to
which resources can be flexibly deployed). Whilst there is a need to provide sufficient resources to
be available for passenger facilitation activities as required, it must be recognised that these
resources will not be fully utilised by these activities every day. Aggregate resource requirements
for compliance and other activities must clearly be planned in conjunction. The suggested
approach would be to plan for enforcement requirements first. The extent to which enforcement
and other resources such as administration can realistically be made available to satisfy primary
line processing requirements can then be assessed. This availability should then be subtracted
from the primary officer requirement.
By systematic planning of resource requirements, both for each function and holistically, predicted
resource levels that more closely match those required to deliver Customs specific outcomes can
be ensured. The most economical roster structure can then be determined to deliver the predicted
resource requirement. By adopting a systematic, integrated, approach to long-term resource
planning, Customs can have more confidence that the rosters will deliver levels of resources that


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allow greater flexibility in dealing with expected day-to-day variations in demand in a more cost-
effective manner.
Furthermore, a systematic baseline analysis of each airport will allow the efficiency of operations to
be meaningfully assessed. This matter is discussed further in Section 5.2.1.
3.1.1.3 Roster structures
Roster structures vary from airport to airport but are commonly based around a team structure.
Each team is scheduled to commence at different times to suit airline schedules. This is considered
to be a generally appropriate concept in a high pressure environment where team members need
to be familiar with the skills and capabilities of their colleagues. However, opportunities to rotate
team members regularly should be considered in order to ensure consistency of work practices
between teams.
Recommendation 24: Team members should be rotated regularly to facilitate consistency of
work practice between teams.
In the larger airports core roles are covered off with full time Customs Officers, supplemented as
necessary with part-time staff (management and officer initiated) and other types of employee such
as Contract Officers (PER) and Customs Intermittent Employees (ADL & SYD). The extent to
which each roster is comprised of each category of employee is dependent on the profile of overall
resource requirement (primary officer and other resources) over the day and the week. Generally,
however, the more constant the demand for resources the higher the proportion of full-time
employees that can be justified. The appropriate mix will also depend on considerations regarding
flexible deployment of resources outside the airport environment (see Section 4.1.2).
An inconsistency was identified in rostering practices for the air border security (ABS) function. At
most of the airports visited the ABS role was separated and operated under a separate roster. The
exception to this practice is where ABS officers are included within the normal roster. Because the
duties vary considerably from those of other officers operating in the passenger arrivals and
departure areas, with little opportunity for redeployment between ABS and other roles, separate
rosters are considered the most appropriate structure to use for this function.
Rosters are also subject to local considerations surrounding shift lengths and attendance patterns.
These are important as they could help to minimise absenteeism.
The final step in the roster development process is the consultation with the Roster Committee.
Once the consultation process is complete the roster receives final local approval prior to being
forwarded to central office human resources for its approval. This mainly relates to ensuring the
roster is compliant with various regulatory requirements such as OH&S.
It is understood that Customs is currently in the early stages of procuring a new integrated Human
Resources and Roster Allocation software package. However, it is expected that it will be some


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time, possibly up to 2 years, before this is commissioned and functional for use in the development
of airport rosters.
A roster development tool is used at SYD to develop a roster structure to deliver, as closely as
possible, the resource requirement produced by the resource planning process. It is suggested that
this could realise benefits if applied at other airports. In particular, roster options should be
comprehensively costed prior to the consultation stage to ensure that non cost-effective options are
ruled out. It is understood that roster proposals can be costed on request by central office.
However, it is considered beneficial for local managers to be able to approximately cost alternative
roster structures during the development process.
Recommendation 25: A roster development tool, similar to that used currently at SYD, should be
provided to all airport managers to assist in the development of roster
options to meet the planned resource requirements. The tool should
include a method for estimating the cost of different roster structures, with
the preferred options subject to detailed costing prior to consultation with
staff.
3.1.2 OPERATIONAL PLANNING
This practice varies airport to airport, in the larger airports this task is performed the day prior and
then adjusted early on the day of operation. In the smaller airports it is performed weekly and,
again, adjusted on the day of operation. Both systems appear to work satisfactorily in their proper
context.
SYD has the most rigorous system of operational planning in place. There is a comprehensive
planning process which occurs the day prior to operation. This task is performed by a rostered
Level 3 Operational Airport Planner (OAP). Two planning tools are used, the National Airport
Planning Interface (NAPI) and People Soft:
NAPI: Data includes flight details, estimated passenger numbers and levels of operational
activity required.
People Soft: This provides staff available as per the seasonal roster.
NAPI is used to varying degrees at different airports. Apart from at SYD, where it is used as a key
resource management and planning tool, NAPI is used only to a limited extent. It is considered that
the use of NAPI could assist in operational resource planning at all airports. The data currently
available in NAPI will adequately satisfy the resource planning activities at all airports.
Recommendation 26: Customs should encourage and facilitate the application of NAPI at each
airport to assist in the operational planning process.


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The extent to which NAPI is used would be relative to the size and nature of the operation,
however there should be a common process across all airports to determine daily resource
requirements. This could include a process similar to that currently used at SYD. These processes
should then remain in place until the new Human Resources and Roster Application software
package is commissioned and functional.
The data obtained from NAPI and PeopleSoft is then combined with estimated passenger loadings
which are provided by airlines the day prior. This is then used to set up resource requirements for
the following days operation. Staff availability is adjusted to include planned and unplanned leave
together with training and other duties. Off-duty staff are then called in on overtime to finalise
resource requirements.
Use of overtime varies considerably from airport to airport. There is clearly an ongoing need for
overtime, due to factors such as seasonal variations in passenger activity and high levels of
legitimate Personal Leave during winter months. Whilst different levels of overtime will be
appropriate at different airports, the level of overtime usage at each airport should be monitored to
ensure overtime remains the most cost-effective means of providing the required resources.
Recommendation 27: Overtime rates should be measured on a monthly basis at each airport.
Financial comparisons should be carried out to determine if ongoing levels
of overtime are the most economical means of resource provision.
Daily disposition sheets are then populated with individual officers to cover off the various
enforcement and compliance requirements for the following days operations. These are compiled
for each shift team.
3.1.3 DAY OF OPERATIONS CHANGES
Changes to resource deployment throughout the day are undertaken with varying degrees of
sophistication according to the size of the airports operation. Once again SYD has the most
comprehensive system. At the start of the day, the days operational plan is adjusted on the basis
of additional data accumulated overnight. The plan is updated regularly throughout the day, as
airline information on estimated arrival times and passenger loads is refined. A Current Day
Spreadsheet estimates incoming and outgoing passenger numbers at hourly intervals for the
entire day. This is used in particular, to plan for variation in primary line requirements.
As mentioned in Section 3.1.1.1, a deterministic approach such as a spreadsheet is reasonable
once actual arrival times and passenger numbers are known with some degree of precision. It is
therefore considered that the spreadsheet model developed at SYD could have applicability to
other airports, particularly the larger ones, with suitable adjustment to some of the assumptions.


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Recommendation 28: The daily planning spreadsheet used at SYD should be made available to
other airports, together with the necessary support, to assist in planning
adjustments to resource deployment throughout each days operations.
However, some minor refinements to the spreadsheet system could be considered. In particular,
the current spreadsheet calculation takes no account of the need to achieve a specific passenger
facilitation standard and averages resource requirements over each clock hour. There can be
considerable variation in the level of resources required even over periods as short as an hour.
Averaging over a 30-minute period would more closely match resources to the 30 minute queue
time limit embodied in the current inwards passenger facilitation standard (see Section 5.1.1).
3.2 TRAINING
Training is an expensive and time consuming element of the Customs Officers work routine. Apart
from the initial training, which can take 6 months, there are also numerous other training
requirements to satisfy both ongoing regulatory and Customs requirements.
3.2.1 CUSTOMS TRAINEE COURSE
Current arrangements are that each region designs Customs Trainee (CT) course programs which
suit local requirements and the final assignment of Customs Trainees. Course competency
objectives are supplied by the Central Office. However course material is developed locally to suit
local needs. There were reported cases of course content being informally shared between
regions. In one case, a series of syndicate projects are undertaken by Customs Trainees during the
course where project outcomes are presented to the local executive team at the completion of the
CT course program. The Central Office HR Department is currently in the process of modularising
the entire CT training syllabus. The outcome of this new system will be a more seamless and
efficient CT training program with the ability to further reduce training time.
Variations in training can lead to variations in work practices and ultimately the passenger
experience, the content of the CT course modules should be standardised as far as possible.

Recommendation 29: The content of the Customs Trainee course program should be as
consistent as possible throughout the different regions.
Whilst the review team understands the principal focus of the Australian Customs Service is its
compliance and enforcement functions, there is a need to introduce a degree of customer service
or passenger relationship training into the existing CT syllabus for the benefit of the passenger
experience.
Recommendation 30: The Customs Trainee course program should include training in basic
customer service techniques such as respect and courtesy.


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In some regions, changes to upcoming CT course programs have been made in order to provide
useful resources to meet particular seasonal demands. As a result, trainees complete certain
elements of the CT program, spend some time as productive resources at the airport on the
primary line, and then return to complete the remainder of the syllabus. This approach
demonstrates the value of the flexibility that regions have to structure the initial training of Customs
Officers. A separate but related benefit is that a reduction in the overall length of time spent training
will also be achieved.
A logical extension of this approach is the consideration of a graduated Customs Trainee program,
whereby elements of training are interspersed with on-the job experience at airports. Benefits of
such a scheme could be expected to include:
quicker access to productive resources for the airport manager (i.e. faster return on
investment);
accelerated completion of the course content due to enhanced experience and knowledge on
the part of the CTs;
faster and deeper integration of CTs into the overall airport environment; and
Some potential challenges would need to be overcome, including the need for all CTs to pass the
DIAC PIO course. Possible legal issues relating to the powers of Customs Trainees also need
clarification.
3.2.2 RECURRENT TRAINING
There is also a need for a rigid form of recording of employees ongoing training requirements to
ensure all officers remain compliant and training is delivered in as economical a manner as
possible. The most efficient and effective manner to achieve this is to ensure the new Rostering
and Resource Allocation Software package includes an ability to record individual training needs,
both compliance and non compliance, and to roster training time as efficiently as possible. Most
modern Resource Allocation Software packages record individuals training requirements and also
maintain a record of what has been completed, what is compulsory and what is elective. The new
modularised training program would complement this process. There should certainly be savings
attached to this initiative as it would allow much more control over the entire training activity.
Recommendation 31: Suitable methods for recording individual employees training history and
requirements should be investigated. These should show currency dates
and highlight any forthcoming recertification requirements. Training should
be actively planned in advance of lapses of currency to achieve
efficiencies in offline time.


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It is understood that this information is currently recorded in PeopleSoft, however it may not be
accessible to the necessary range of personnel such as airport operational planners for use in
allocating tasks to individual employees.
Officers returning to the airport from another position within Customs should undergo a refresher
course in the necessary airport-specific competencies. In particular, it is considered that these
officers would benefit from exposure to any customer service training modules which are
developed as part of the CT course (see Section 3.2.1).
Where activities require officers to hold a current certification, the number of officers required to
hold that certification in each team should be reviewed. Despite the obvious benefits of multi-
skilling in terms of flexibility, it is anticipated that not all officers need to be certified for every
activity.
Recommendation 32: The numbers of officers required to hold certifications for various functions
at any given time should be critically reviewed.
As a general observation, consideration should be given to providing training within a regular 0830
1651 Monday to Friday period. There would be savings associated with this initiative as a result
of not having to pay shift penalty rates to employees undertaking training.
3.3 RECRUITMENT & SELECTION POLICY
The recruitment process is time consuming and quite drawn out. There are four key mile stones:
establishment of the need to recruit and request for approval;
approval of the request;
commencement of the selection process, including security checks;
appointment and commencement of training; and completion of training when officers are on
line fully productive.
This entire process takes considerable time and during that period pressure mounts on local
resources if there are excessive staff separations. This leads to higher than necessary levels of
overtime and pressure on existing resources. Expected separation rates therefore need to be
allowed for when planning recruitment requirements. It is not clear that this allowance is currently
being made and/or approved.
Recommendation 33: The planning and approval of recruitment initiatives should include an
allowance for expected staff separations between the initiation of the
recruitment process and the expected graduation date.
Despite the existence of a national Assignment Policy, most Regional Directors appear to have
differing policies on the length of airport placements. Many regions use the airport for recruitment


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for the whole of the region. Whilst this may or may not be the most cost-effective employee
development strategy at a regional level, it has considerable potential to lead to inefficiencies from
the point of view of the airport. This is especially the case where regional policies on assignment
prevents the necessary return on investment in airport-specific training from being fully realised.
Recommendation 34: The length of time Customs Trainees are retained at the airport should be
reviewed to ensure that the cost of airport-specific training for those
employees is adequately recovered.
3.3.1 RETENTION OF EXPERIENCED OFFICERS
There are major opportunities in this area to retain the services of highly trained and experienced
officers who are approaching retirement or have recently retired. Over recent years there has been
a large change in social attitudes towards retirement. There have also been changes to the
regulations relating to superannuation entitlements and the laws relating to accessing all or part of
ones superannuation. As there is no longer a legal retirement age a larger number people now
approaching the traditional age for retirement are wishing to slow down but not cease work
completely. Superannuation laws now allow people to work part-time and also draw a pension
allocation from their superannuation.
Whilst there are currently provisions to allow officers to apply for officer initiated part-time roles it is
recommended that a separate arrangement be introduced for the group of officers in this category.
One consideration would be that these officers have contracts negotiated annually to allow both
parties to estimate duty requirement for the forthcoming year, this could also be done bi-annually to
coincide with schedule changes. Appointment of officers to these roles should be based on
previous performance. There would also be a requirement to ensure these officers were subject to
ongoing annual performance reviews similar to those of all other officers.
Recommendation 35: Suitable arrangements should be introduced to accommodate the
employment of highly trained and experienced officers on a part-time
contract basis.


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3.4 SKILLING LEVELS AND CAREER PATHS
It became clear to the review team that many of the functions of Customs Officers can only be
performed effectively by those that have received training and experience in all aspects of Customs
operations at airports. However, there are a number of roles which do not appear, in isolation, to
require the full range of Customs Officers capabilities. An example of this approach is the use of
Customs Intermittent Employees (CIEs) currently being trialled at SYD and ADL. These are trained
and employed only to work the outwards primary line on an hourly rate rather than a salary.
In order to improve the passenger experience and realise processing efficiencies there is a
requirement to provide additional passenger management resources in both primary line queues
and in the baggage hall. Apart from marshalling duties this would include answering queries,
ensuring all passengers have the appropriate documents ready for inspection and other tasks
associated with achieving maximum passenger movement. These functions could be fulfilled,
partially or wholly, by other stakeholders such as airport operators and/or airlines as discussed in
Section 2.1.1.3, or by Customs personnel.
3.4.1 PART-TIME OFFICERS
Teams of part-time officers could be used to accommodate the peak period flows in highly
demand-driven compliance-focussed functions such as inwards and outwards processing and
marshalling duties. Full-time Customs Officers could then be utilised more efficiently in a
combination of compliance and enforcement roles. The actual roles of part-time officers would
need to be assessed against Customs work value principles and appropriate decisions taken
regarding classification and pay structures. However, this approach could realise efficiency savings
in the following ways:
If suitable personnel could be engaged on an hourly rate or a salaried basis with a minimum 3 or 4
hour shift length, this would enhance managements ability to closely match resources to demand
peaks.
Reductions in training costs compared with the full Customs Trainee program would be
achieved.
The part-time officers should each have a range of skills in order to maintain flexibility and ensure
maximum utilisation of these resources is possible under the constantly varying workloads that
Customs experiences at airports. By offering some variety in the roles fulfilled, the part-time
position would also be more attractive to potential applicants.
The success of such a scheme would be dependent on the availability of suitable labour pool
sufficiently close to the airport to which part-time work is attractive. Issues surrounding
remuneration and pay scales would also need to be resolved.


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The potential to accommodate part-time officers is greatest at (MEL and BNE, where the peaks in
traffic are sufficiently long to occupy resources in a single function for an acceptable minimum
length of shift. The volume and distribution of workload at SYD is such that the benefits of part-time
labour are less significant than at MEL and BNE. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the supply
of suitable labour for part-time roles might be problematic there. Therefore, Customs should review
the potential benefits of part-time officers at SYD in light of experience at MEL and BNE, as well as
workload patterns and labour market availability.
At the other airports the flexibility offered by a completely multi-skilled workforce is considered
essential to their efficient operation. Here, efficiency in the use of resources is achieved through
redeployment of officers as demand for each function is highly transient, in many cases lasting less
than an hour at a time. The extent to which the use of part-time officers would offer efficiencies at
each airport can only be determined from a systematic long-term resource planning process such
as that described in Section 3.1.1. However, the potential benefits are significant enough to warrant
the development of a category of part-time officers, subject to labour availability and engagement
considerations, which could be utilised in the appropriate circumstances.

Recommendation 36: A job description for part-time officers should be developed. Mechanisms
by which such officers could be integrated within the Customs personnel
structure should be investigated.
Recommendation 37: Customs should consider the use of part-time officers at MEL and BNE
initially and, subject to positive results there, review the potential to
engage them at SYD in light of labour market considerations.
As an alternative to part-time officers, the roles discussed above could be carried out by Customs
Trainees that have completed the required elements of a graduated Customs Trainee program, as
described in Section 3.2.1.


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4.0 INFRASTRUCTURE & TECHNOLOGY
4.1 INFRASTRUCTURE CONFIGURATION
4.1.1 AIRPORT INFRASTRUCTURE
Every airport is different in terms of the size and layout of infrastructure available to Customs to
perform its various functions. This is an inevitable result of the different development histories of
each airport as they have evolved to serve their individual traffic profiles. Infrastructure availability
has the potential to limit the capacity of Customs processes at the ECP and OCP and affects the
flow of passengers in the Secondary Examination Area (SEA).
Although primary line capacity at the ECP and OCP is theoretically limited by the available space
and number of channels that can be accommodated, this is not considered to be the primary factor
controlling throughput. It appears more likely that ECP throughput will be limited by congestion in
the baggage hall and SEA. Similarly, the major constraint on OCP throughput appears to be the
downstream security screening point. Where this is close to the rear of the OCP line, congestion
here can prevent the passage of further passengers through the OCP.
Capacity in the SEA is limited at most airports by the number of available inspection benches. This
is more critical in terms of AQIS inspections than for Customs. However, congestion here can have
an impact on Customs processes. The only airports visited without evidence of such limitations are
those where the SEA has been developed or redeveloped following the introduction of the current
AQIS intervention policy.
Infrastructure configuration can also affect the efficiency of Customs operations, particularly in
respect of the ease of movement of officers between the various Customs functional areas at each
airport. This appeared to be a particular problem where a convoluted route between the ECP and
OCP made rapid redeployment of officers between the two locations difficult.
Wider airport infrastructure considerations can also impact on Customs processes by affecting
passenger behaviour. The relative distribution of such things as concessions, airline lounges and
general waiting areas airside and landside will affect the departures presentation behaviour of
passengers.
During the field visits, there was a lot of discussion at each airport about the impacts of particular
infrastructure configurations on Customs operations. The fact is that individual airports will always
present a series of different challenges to all stakeholders. It is neither possible nor desirable to try
to account for all of the differences in infrastructure configuration and layout between airports. Such
an approach would be contrary to the objective of consistency of practice across airports. A much
more fruitful approach would be to try and secure the optimum size and arrangement of airport


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infrastructure through close involvement with airport operators during the preparation of
redevelopment proposals.
Even this approach is likely to lead, ultimately, to different degrees of success at different airports.
Each airport operator has its own priorities, driven by its particular business objectives and the
characteristics of the traffic it serves.
An important step in the process of securing optimum infrastructure arrangements at individual
airports is to ensure that airport operators understand the impacts their decisions have on Customs
ability to perform its functions efficiently and effectively (see Section 2.3.3). Furthermore, Customs
must ensure that it is involved in airport redevelopment proposals at conceptual stage and that it
gets the opportunity to independently review and comment on the options. It is suggested that the
most effective way to achieve this is through the Passenger Facilitation Task Force.
Recommendation 38: Customs should, through the appropriate forum, secure formal
arrangements with airport operators that allow Customs sufficient
opportunity to independently review redevelopment proposals in respect
of the potential impacts on the efficiency and effectiveness of Customs
operations.
4.1.2 OFF-AIRPORT INFRASTRUCTURE
As well as airport infrastructure, the location of Customs off-airport infrastructure impacts on the
efficiency of its overall operations.
At SYD, it was reported that the concept of flexible deployment of resources is being extended to a
whole-of-region basis. This approach is facilitated by the relative geographical locations of
Customs other activities in Sydney. Customs House is located on the airport precinct and sea port
is within a reasonable travel time. This allows SYD to employ full-time Customs Officers who
perform airport duties during the morning peak and then redeploy to other activities within the NSW
region during quieter parts of the day.
It is considered that this approach has considerable merit, given the inherent inefficiencies which
characterise operations at airports. It is recognised that not all regions are fortunate enough to
share resources effectively between airport and maritime locations.
Other elements of Customs activity, notably postal services and air cargo, are typically located on
the airport precinct. It was reported at some airports that attempts to utilise personnel from these
areas to cover passenger processing peak were generally unsuccessful. This is due primarily to the
need for officers used at the airport remain current in specialised areas in order to be of real value.
However, it is likely that this approach could be more successful if reversed. Customs officers could
be used initially to cover airport operations and then redeployed to air cargo or post operations for
the remainder of the shift.


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Recommendation 39: Arrangements by which Customs Officers can be utilised at other
Customs facilities once their airport duties have been fulfilled should be
given serious consideration, on a region-by-region basis. This should
include a review of the relative locations of Customs infrastructure
throughout each region, in particular Customs House.
4.2 SIGNAGE
Signage is an important element in directing and informing passengers as they pass through an
airport. The extent and nature of the signs used can influence, to a large extent, their effectiveness.
The location, style and content of various signs were therefore considered in detail at each of the
four principal airports visited as part of this review.
The assessment focussed on signs provided by Customs and those located within Customs
controlled areas. These fall into two broad categories: static signs, where the message does not
change (even though the sign itself might be movable); and dynamic signs which have a changing
message. The two types of signs are considered separately here because they are generally
suitable for different purposes.
The review also includes consideration of signs provided by other organisations because signs
provided by Customs cannot be isolated from other signs that passengers experience whilst
travelling through the airport.
Signs are used by Customs to convey a variety of types of information, but in general signs can be
categorised as follows:
directional informing passengers which way to go or which queue to join;
instructional informing passengers what they should or should not do. This category can be
further subdivided depending on whether the instructions are conveyed as a command, or as a
request.
It should be remembered that written signs are not always the appropriate medium for conveying a
particular message. Where the message is complex and/or important alternative methods of
communicating the required information, such as verbal, or a combination of methods might be
more appropriate.
4.2.1 GENERAL
Some general observations made by the review team with respect to Customs use of signage are
presented below. More specific comments about the different types of signs are given in the
relevant sub-sections following.


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The general approach to signage appears to be haphazard. There is very little consistency in the
styles of signs used at different airports. Some major variations in the application of the signs were
also observed. In many cases, inconsistencies even within the same airport were evident.
Frequent duplication of the same message was observed. This suggests a general view that if one
sign is not effective, the solution is to provide more signs rather than address the real reason for
the failure to convey the desired message. This results in a large number of signs that it is difficult
for the passenger to assimilate in the time available.
The design and positioning of signs should be such that they convey key information to passengers
at the appropriate point. From the viewpoint of Customs, key information includes:
where to go;
what to do; and, where applicable
what not to do.
It is important that any other messages do not detract from these key points.
With respect to Customs signs, it is evident that a consistent policy on signage is required. This
must extend to address the relationship between Customs signs and those of other organisations,
particularly those of airport operators, where applicable.
Recommendation 40: A consistent signage policy should be developed. This should address
aspects such as the content, style and siting of Customs signs as well as
the interaction with the signs of other stakeholders, particularly airport
operators.
4.2.2 STATIC SIGNAGE
Two forms of static Customs signage were observed: those fixed to walls, columns or other
stationary infrastructure; and free-standing signs that can be re-positioned as required. Most types
of sign fitted into one or other of these categories, although some overlap was observed.
4.2.2.1 Fixed signs
Restricted area signs in particular were observed to vary in style, size and prominence. Figure 7
shows some of the different styles of restricted area signs used in the ECP, baggage hall and
Secondary Examination Area (SEA) at PER (top) and SYD (bottom). These signs, both inwards
and outwards, were found to be extremely visible at most airports. At ADL in particular, a large
proportion of the wall space was taken up with signs informing people not to use cameras, sound
recorders, mobile phones or other electronic forms of communication. Whilst the need to ensure
visibility of these signs is understood, from a statutory enforcement perspective, they can distract
from other important messages, such as the need for passengers to present their completed IPC at


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various points in the process. The prevalence of such signs should therefore be kept to the
minimum necessary and a consistent approach should be adopted across all airports.
Recommendation 41: The size and number of signs that are required to be provided under
legislation should be limited to the minimum extent required by law.

Figure 7 Restricted area signs
4.2.2.2 Free-standing signs
Free-standing signs appear to be used for a number of purposes, both directional and instructional.
The form of the free-standing signs used is such that the message is at height where becomes
obscured by people standing in front of them. This is a particular problem at the baggage hall exit
which regularly becomes congested. Overhead signs in these situations are considered to be more
effective.


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Free-standing signs have the potential to be useful in situations where they are unlikely to be
obscured and it is not possible to use a more permanent sign. However, because of their size and
height, their visibility is always likely to be limited. In particular, the visibility of signs informing
passengers of the duty free allowances was observed to be poor. In addition to the factors above,
the design of the sign makes it difficult to distinguish from the background. This is particularly the
case where passengers are moving quickly and the sign is competing for attention with other signs.
Figure 8 shows how difficult it can be to distinguish these signs even when the concourse is empty.

Figure 8 Free-standing duty free allowance signs
A good example of the use of duty free allowance signs was observed at ADL. Here, the signs are
larger and positioned higher by fixing to the bulkhead walls along the ramps leading from the
aerobridges. The background colour was slightly darker, assisting in the identification of the text.
The signs are also positioned at an appropriate point in the passenger flow. The information is
conveyed sufficiently far in advance of the ECP and duty free shop that passengers have the
chance to assimilate the information and act on it without distracting them from other activities.


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Free-standing signs are also regularly used within the ECP and OCP to direct passengers to the
appropriate queue. In many cases these signs repeat the messages given by other signs
(discussed further in Section 4.2.4). The exception to this is ADL, where a combination of a
dedicated marshal and the visibility of the signs above the primary line modules appeared to
operate satisfactorily without the need for free-standing signs at the entrance to the queues. The
reduced number of free-standing signs here helps to create a more pleasant, less busy,
environment and assists the smooth flow of passengers.
Other free-standing signs are used for a variety of purposes, primarily in an attempt to keep the
flow of passengers moving by telling passengers what to do. Some of those observed are
illustrated in Figure 9 . Notwithstanding the lack of consistency, in general these signs are not
considered to be particularly effective for the intended purpose.

Figure 9 Ineffective instructional signs
Recommendation 42: The use of free-standing signs should be avoided wherever possible and
should be limited to situations where they will be sufficiently visible.


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4.2.3 DYNAMIC SIGNAGE
Dynamic signage can be effective when passengers are stationary or moving slowly, for example in
queues, so that they have adequate time to absorb all of the information being presented. They can
be used to prepare passengers for the process they are about to undertake. A good example is the
dynamic signage in advance of Automated Border Process at SYD (Figure 10 ).

Figure 10 Dynamic signage for Automated Border Process
As with any sign, to be effective, the instructions presented must be clear and give the recipient
ample opportunity to comply with them. Dynamic signage is less effective where passengers are
moving too quickly to absorb the information, such as on the approach to queuing areas.
Customs current use of dynamic signage appears to have two objectives: firstly, to prepare
passengers by informing them of the need to complete and present the necessary documentation;
and secondly, to inform passengers about the need to declare certain items. The location of the
signs, however, reduces the effectiveness of these messages. When used, dynamic signs are
generally located above the primary line desks, as shown in Figure 11 . The following observations
apply.
The content is difficult to read unless passengers are close to the desk. Therefore, messages
intended to prepare passengers for the primary line process potentially lose much of their
effectiveness;
The constantly changing messages can serve as a distraction to passengers. This has the
potential to cause delays if passengers are concentrating on the screens rather being ready
when the primary officer calls them forward. It is suggested that Customs objective would be
better served if passengers at this point were completely focussed on being prepared and
ready to present to the primary officer.


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The value of providing information to passengers about prohibited imports and what they must
declare at this particular point in the process is questionable. It is considered that these
messages would be more useful to passengers either: (a) before they enter the ECP queue, or
(b) in the baggage hall.

Figure 11 Dynamic signage at the ECP
It is therefore recommended that the content and location of this type of dynamic signage be
thoroughly reviewed as part of an overall signage strategy. Consideration should be given to
locating dynamic signs within the queuing areas for the ECP (and where applicable, the OCP)
where the messages can be more easily absorbed by passengers.
Recommendation 43: The content and location of dynamic signs should be thoroughly reviewed
as part of an overall signage strategy.
Subject to the considerations discussed above, dynamic signage could be used to display
messages in more than one language, to suit local requirements (for example at CNS).
Dynamic signage was also observed in some airports being used for directional purposes, to mixed
effect. Where the directional information is the signs only message, as in SYD, the addition of an
element of motion in the sign did help to attract passengers attention. However, where the
directional information is cycled with other messages as at MEL, this is considered less effective
because passengers are moving too quickly and can easily miss the directional part of the


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message which, at this point, is the most important. In general, however, directional messages
should be conveyed by airport organisation signage (see Section 4.2.4).
4.2.4 OTHER ORGANISATIONS SIGNS
Of the other organisations which provide signage in airports, the signs of two in particular have a
significant relationship with those of Customs: AQIS and the airport operator.
4.2.4.1 AQIS signs
It was noticeable that AQIS signs in particular are highly prominent, by virtue of both their design
and location. The nature of the messages within these signs means that they tend to be located in
similar areas to Customs signs. This leads to a situation where passengers attention is drawn to
the AQIS messages and can prevent Customs messages from being effectively communicated.
It was observed that AQIS frequently uses commercial advertising space in the concourse and
baggage hall to convey messages to passengers. This included the use of signs on baggage
carousels. This strategy might be appropriate for certain types of Customs message also.
Recommendation 44: The value of using commercial advertising space to convey appropriate
messages should be considered by Customs.
Given the close relationship between the messages that need to be disseminated by both AQIS
and Customs, it is considered that there is considerable scope to combine these. This would
reduce the overall number of signs and could considerably improve the impact of the messages.
Recommendation 45: Customs should investigate the potential to develop joint signs with AQIS
for certain messages.
4.2.4.2 Airport operators signs
Customs has a direct interest in the effectiveness of directional signs provided by airport operators,
in so far as they influence the flow of passengers through Customs controlled areas. In general, the
standard of airport operators signage at the airports visited was considered to be poor. None of the
airport operators signs appear to follow the recommended International Air Transport Association
(IATA) colour schemes. There were also inconsistencies between airports in the words and
symbols used to direct passengers to Customs areas, particularly arriving passengers. It is
understood that Customs has little influence over the quality and effectiveness of airport operators
signs. Nevertheless, improvements to these signs could assist Customs greatly in performing its
duties effectively.
The relationship between the signs of airport operators and Customs is greatest in respect of
directing passengers to the ECP queue. This process starts at the arrival gate. As passengers
disembark the aircraft, they are looking for airport signs telling them the way to arrivals. Once they
recognise the style of these, they are scanning for similar styles of sign to obtain other directional


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information. When the same information is later conveyed on signs with a different style, it is likely
to be ignored because passengers do not recognise quickly enough that these signs contain the
information they need.
In many cases, two or even three styles of sign are used at the same location to convey the same
information to passengers: where to go to reach the correct ECP queue. Examples of this
duplication can be seen in Figure 12

Figure 12 Duplication of directional signs
It is acknowledged that the need for additional signs is sometimes dictated by limitations of the
airport layout. However, the inconsistency of styles means that passengers take longer to process
the information. It also serves to distract passengers from other tasks such as ensuring they have
the necessary documentation ready for inspection.
In many cases, the signs provided by Customs are considered superfluous to those provided by
the airport operator. Where the airport operators signs are not quite optimal, it is suggested that it
would be more effective for Customs to seek the cooperation of the airport operator in relocating or
otherwise adjusting its signs as necessary, rather than try to overcome any problems by providing
additional signs. The use of additional marshal resources in a passenger preparation role would
also reduce the need for any supplementary signs.
Recommendation 46: The directing of passengers on the approach to and within the ECP and
OCP should be achieved solely through the use of airport operator
signage wherever possible. Where necessary, this should be
supplemented by information above individual ECP/OCP modules that is
clearly visible from the rear of the queuing area.


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4.3 OTHER TECHNOLOGY
4.3.1 SMARTGATE
Based on current passenger growth forecasts, the number of international arrivals and departures
in 2008-09 will be 23 per cent greater than that recorded in 2003-04. Growth in passenger numbers
has been previously managed by increasing the number of Customs Officers and reducing the time
taken to process passengers. It is not possible to further reduce the time of the current manual
process without substantially impacting the integrity of the border processing function. With floor
space for additional primary line area unlikely to be made available it is not feasible to increase the
number of Customs Officers at the Primary Line.
The roll-out of SmartGate Series 1 will assist Customs in addressing the need to process
increasing numbers of travellers within existing floor space and facilitation rates.
Recommendation 47: Customs should ensure individual airport stakeholders are aware of the
nature and extent of the impacts the implementation of SmartGate will
have on passenger flows.
The implementation of SmartGate Series 1 will introduce a need for Customs Officers to support
the system. As the technology used in SmartGate is unique and quite new to the environment, this
role will require specialist training that will cover a variety of different subject areas.
4.3.2 ELECTRONIC QUEUE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Use of an electronic queue management system (EQMS), such as those commonly found in banks
and other service-focussed locations, at the ECP or OCP could potentially offer an improved
passenger experience. In cases where a marshal is currently provided to distribute passengers to
processing points, the use of an electronic system could permit the marshal to be dispensed with.
However, because of the changes that such a system would require to the queuing arrangements,
any savings in marshalling resources are likely to be offset by increased processing requirements.
Currently, Customs queuing arrangements are optimised to deliver passengers to Customs
Officers for processing with the minimum gap between passengers (see Section 2.1.1.2). With an
EQMS, passengers would have to wait at a single point to be called forward to the next available
officer. This would have two significant impacts:
additional space would be required between the queue and the primary line modules, in order
to allow passengers to move freely to any desk; and
there would be additional time gaps between passengers as they would on average have to
walk further from the holding point to be processed.


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This latter point in particular can be expected to add an average of approximately 5 seconds to
cycle times, based on computer simulation modelling of the OCP process. The results of the
simulation suggest that approximately 10% more resources would be required in the peak period in
order to maintain the same average passenger facilitation rate at the OCP.
It might be possible to reduce the impact on cycle times slightly by calling passengers forward in
advance of the completion of processing of the previous passenger. However, it is unclear to the
review team how this might be achieved in practice.
Based on this investigation, the implementation of EQMS at primary processing points is
considered to be an extremely risky proposition, in terms of its potential impact on resource
requirements. It is likely that any savings in marshalling resources would be offset by additional
primary officers required to maintain overall processing rates at an acceptable level, particularly in
the peak periods.
Recommendation 48: Customs should not proceed with the implementation of electronic queue
management systems without a full and detailed consideration of the
impacts such systems will have on queuing arrangements and passenger
processing rates.


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5.0 PERFORMANCE MEASURES
Systems of performance measures at airports can be defined from a range of perspectives, such
as a financial, operational or marketing viewpoint, depending on the purpose of the measure. From
the point of view of this review, two broad categories of performance measure are considered:
those relating to passenger facilitation; and those relating to Customs internal management.
5.1 PASSENGER FACILITATION MEASURES
Passenger facilitation performance measures relate to service quality, which can be considered as
the gap between perceived and expected service. Service quality relates directly to the passenger
experience and can be measured using objective or subjective measures. Objective measures are
precise and easy to understand and cover areas such as queue length, waiting time and space
provision. Subjective measures are also needed to allow quality of service to be assessed from the
passengers point of view. Standards for the objective measures can then be set in the light of
passenger satisfaction surveys.
Airports, more so than most service industries, suffer from difficulties in the measurement of
service quality resulting from their characteristically uneven spread of demand. Not only do these
wide variations in demand play a major role in influencing the passengers perception of the quality
of service provided, but they also make it extremely difficult to strike a balance between service
quality and the efficient use of resources. Airports have the additional problem that overall service
is a result of the combined activities of various different organisations including airlines, handling
agents, concessionaires and security personnel. Passengers may not always appreciate the
distinctions between these organisations.
Queuing and waiting processes are areas of particular concern regarding the quality of service in
terms of the passenger experience. Therefore, measures relating to queue length and waiting time
at each process are the most appropriate in terms of passengers expectations. Unfortunately,
these quantities are often the most difficult to measure directly, Therefore, these quantities,
particularly waiting time, are frequently derived from other, more readily measurable quantities. It
is, however, essential that the process by which the measures of interest are derived does not
distort the performance indicator.
Currently, Customs has only one performance measure for passenger facilitation. This is discussed
in Section 5.1.1 below. The current facilitation standard is limited to the processing of arriving
passengers at the ECP. This represents only a part of Customs facilitation activity at airports and
an even smaller proportion of the numerous interconnected processing activities which passengers
are subjected to by the various agencies and stakeholders.


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The current passenger facilitation standard should be considered within a larger framework of
performance measures for all airport processes. Presently, no such integrated, whole-of-airport,
performance framework exists. However, Customs, through the passenger facilitation task force,
should work to establish a system of performance measurement for passenger facilitation that
integrates the various procedures undertaken by the different government and industry bodies.
Recommendation 49: Customs should use the passenger facilitation task force to establish an
integrated framework of passenger facilitation measures covering all
relevant airport processes.
However, a whole-of-airport performance standard will only be of value if the relevant constituent
processes can be held accountable for any failure to meet the overall facilitation standard.
Therefore, there is a need for Customs to maintain and develop its own passenger facilitation
standards within any integrated performance measurement system.
5.1.1 CURRENT INWARDS FACILITATION STANDARD
5.1.1.1 Definition
The current facilitation standard for inwards passengers is based on the time spent queuing for the
primary line. The standard is expressed as:
95% of passengers cleared through the Entry Control Point (ECP) within 30 minutes of
arrival at the ECP.

Recommendation 50: The current inwards passenger facilitation standard should be retained for
operations at the entry control point.
5.1.1.2 Measurement
Despite its potential flaws, therefore, the current measurement method does appear to be
acceptable. However, its accuracy is entirely dependent on the use of a pre-queue time that is
representative of the situation at each airport.
Recommendation 51: Frequent and rigorous review of the median pre-queue times appropriate
to passengers at each airport should be conducted, to ensure the current
method of measurement of the inwards passenger facilitation rate remains
sufficiently accurate
.


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5.1.1.3 Application
The inwards passenger facilitation standard is reportable as an annual average figure across all
major international airports.
The period over which facilitation rates are measured has a significant impact on the ability of
Customs to achieve the target. Providing sufficient resources to accommodate extreme short-term
peaks in passenger flow reduces efficiency dramatically.
In the interests of achieving efficient use of resources, therefore, facilitation rates should be
reported over the longest timescale acceptable. Assessment on an annual basis is the appropriate
period, as this is sufficiently long to incorporate hourly, daily, monthly and seasonal variations.
Recommendation 52: Achievement of passenger facilitation standards should be determined on
an annual basis, with more regular monitoring of ongoing rates by airport
managers as necessary.
5.1.2 ALTERNATIVE INWARDS FACILITATION STANDARDS
A number of potential changes to the prevailing automatic method of calculation of the facilitation
rate could be considered for implementation. These were:
manually calculate the rate;
link passenger facilitation to bag delivery;
continue to automatically calculate the rate by:
o varying the pre-queue time
o make an allowance in the calculation for duty free dwell times
o make an allowance for the percentage of passengers utilising duty free;
present data tracking facilitation rates against capacity; and
continue to note compactions affecting the facilitation rate.
Each of them is reviewed briefly below, in the interests of completeness and for the purposes of
informing the development of an integrated performance measurement system covering all airport
processes.
5.1.2.1 Manual calculation
The facilitation rate could be calculated manually, by a sampling process such as the one that has
been implemented for OCP queue time surveys at selected airport. This would accurately measure
the queue time of selected passengers in the ECP queue. However, there are difficulties in
determining a sampling strategy that is representative as this would need to take into account the
variation in passenger flows over time.


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For this reason, manual calculation of the inwards facilitation rate is not considered a viable
alternative. However, periodic surveying of the facilitation rate might be considered in order to
confirm the measured values.
5.1.2.2 Link to baggage delivery
Facilitation standard could be linked to baggage delivery.
This would represent a significant redefinition of the standard to frame it in terms of the
performance of the next process downstream in the passenger flow. Therein lays its major
limitation: Customs is not in control of the baggage delivery process and thus is not in control of the
standard it is required to achieve.
Access to airline baggage delivery data would be required in order to calculate the facilitation rate
achieved. Such access may not be forthcoming from the airlines on the basis of individual flights.
Whilst linking facilitation rates to baggage delivery may seem attractive because it recognises the
interaction between the two processes, in practice this approach is fundamentally flawed as a
performance measure for Customs.
5.1.2.3 Use of national pre-queue time
The use of appropriate pre-queue times is essential to minimise the discrepancy between the
defined performance standard and what is actually being measured. A single pre-queue time
cannot be representative of the wide variety of configurations of the airports where Customs has a
passenger facilitation role. This approach is not recommended as it could result in some airports
achieving very high measured facilitation rates while making it extremely difficult for other airports
to meet the target.
5.1.2.4 Allowance for passengers using the duty free shop
Two suggestions regarding the impact of arriving passengers using the duty free shop on Customs
ability to achieve its facilitation rate targets are:
make an allowance in the pre-queue times for the time passengers spend in the duty free
shop; or
ignore those passengers using the duty free shop from the calculation of the facilitation rate
achieved.
Both options are difficult to achieve without detailed historical data on passenger behaviour in the
duty free concessions. It is likely that this information would be difficult to obtain from the duty-free
operators as it may be commercially sensitive.


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The proportion of passengers using the duty free shop can be expected to be a function of several
factors. Passengers dwell times in the duty free shop will be affected by how many other
passengers choose to shop and the number of staff available to serve them.
The first suggestion is the more reasonable, from a passenger experience viewpoint. Use of the
duty free shop should not negate passengers expectation that they be processed through the ECP
within a reasonable period of time, after they have shopped. Simply ignoring a proportion of
passengers is simpler to implement, but erodes the relevance of the facilitation standard from the
point of view of the passenger. There are also difficulties in selecting which set of data points it is
appropriate to remove from the calculation of the facilitation rate. Removal of inappropriate data
points from the calculation has the potential to bias, positively or negatively, the reported facilitation
rate.

5.1.2.5 The effect of capacity limitations
Situations occur where the flow of arriving passengers is greater than the physical capacity of the
inwards control point. These situations are called overloads. Short-term overloads are an inherent
feature of passenger demand profiles at airports. Although overloads lead to delays, they do not
necessarily indicate a deficiency of resources. In fact, overload periods are absolutely necessary
from the point of view of the efficient utilisation of resources.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to understand the point at which external capacity limitations begin to
impinge on Customs ability to achieve its ECP performance target. In the case of primary line
modules, Customs needs first to plan its resource requirement more analytically. When this reveals
a discrepancy between the availability of physical resources against those required by Customs,
Customs must work with the airport operator to ensure additional resources are provided. In any
event, it is anticipated that the forthcoming introduction of SmartGate processing will mean that the
focus of capacity limitations will switch to downstream processes. Even now, it seems that the level
of infrastructure in the primary lines is rarely the limiting factor in achieving facilitation rates.
Capacity at the ECP is limited not only by the physical number of races, but also by the capacity of
downstream processes such as the baggage hall and Secondary Examination Area. (A similar
situation exists at the OCP at many airports, where the capacity is limited by that of the adjacent
downstream security screening point). These issues are discussed in more detail in Section 4.1.
To account for these constraints, times when processing rates are limited due to downstream
congestion should be recorded. The number of passengers processed between the time
processing is stopped and the time at which the queue is cleared should be highlighted when
reporting facilitation rates achieved. It is not, however, considered beneficial to exclude these
passengers from the calculation of facilitation rates. Where the impact of downstream processes on
facilitation rates can be shown to be significant, formal notification to airport operators should be


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made that facilitation rates can not be guaranteed until such time as satisfactory remedial action is
taken.
Recommendation 53: The impact of downstream capacity limitations on facilitation rates should
be recorded. Where the impact can be shown to be significant, airport
operators should be advised that facilitation rates cannot be guaranteed
until remedial action is taken.
5.1.3 OTHER FACILITATION STANDARDS
Other processes within Customs control are not currently the subject of similar performance
standards for passenger facilitation. The two most relevant of these are:
queuing and waiting in the Secondary Examination Area (SEA); and
queuing and waiting at the outwards control point (OCP).
The potential for developing suitable performance measures for these processes is discussed
below.
5.1.3.1 Secondary Examination Area
The queuing processes in the Secondary Examination Area (SEA) are the result of a combination
of Customs and AQIS intervention processes. Generally, the small proportion of passengers of
Customs interest is separated at the earliest opportunity. This results in two separate queuing
processes: those awaiting attention from Customs officers; and those awaiting examination by
AQIS personnel.
Whilst it might be considered that some form of facilitation measure is appropriate for those
passengers awaiting Customs examination, there are two strong arguments against such a
standard:
Customs only intervenes with passengers which they have assessed and determined as
exceeding some threshold level of risk to border security. On the reasonable assumption that
Customs risk assessment processes are robust, then by definition, these passengers can no
longer be considered legitimate (in the sense that they pose no risk from a community
protection perspective of course, some of passengers selected by Customs for further
examination will, during the course of investigation, prove to be of no such risk). ICAO (Annex
9, Chapter 3, para 3.31) only recommends the establishment of a performance standard for
those passengers requiring not more than normal inspection.
The length of time required to carry out Customs examinations in the Secondary Examination
Area (SEA) is dependent on the individual circumstances of the case. It is neither practical, nor
desirable from an enforcement viewpoint, to set limits or targets to this duration in order to
achieve some facilitation standard.


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The implementation of a facilitation performance standard in relation to Customs secondary
examination processes is not considered appropriate and not recommended.
Nevertheless it is reasonable to expect passengers to be treated with the appropriate levels of
courtesy and respect in the SEA. Performance in this regard can only be measured by active
passenger surveys. The use of compliments and complaints procedures for this purpose is not
recommended (see Section 5.1.4).
5.1.3.2 Outwards control point
The review team is aware of an ongoing trial of a proposed passenger facilitation measure for
queuing and processing at the OCP. The proposed standard (i.e. maximum queue time) and its
method of measurement would appear to be reasonable. However, in order to improve its
effectiveness as a performance measure, the following refinements could be made:
the maximum queue time limit should be that experienced by a defined percentage of
passengers. 95% may be considered too unreliable, from the point of view of potential delays
to departing flights. If so the percentage could be increased. This would, of course, require a
greater number of processing resources. Figure 13 gives an indication of the difference in
resource availability required to meet 95% and 98% standards for queuing and processing
times at the OCP, based on activity typical of MEL.
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As discussed in Section 2.1.3.3, the development of a performance standard for the facilitation of
outwards passengers would strengthen Customs position in respect of division of responsibility for


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ensuring on-time departure of flights. Such a standard would also assist in planning resource
requirements.
Recommendation 54: A performance standard for outwards passenger facilitation, in terms of
the maximum time taken to process a defined proportion of passengers
through the OCP, should be developed and agreed with airline
representatives and airport operators. Measurement of performance
against the standard should take account of the variation of passenger
numbers at different times of the day.
5.1.4 COMPLIMENTS AND COMPLAINTS
Compliments and complaints mechanisms are important for all organisations, from a customer
service viewpoint. They can provide valuable feedback on certain issues. However, the use of
compliments and complaints procedures to formally measure passenger satisfaction is undesirable.
By their very nature, self-generated comments are not likely to come from a representative cross-
section of the population and tend to be heavily biased towards reflecting negative experiences. If
passenger satisfaction is to be measured, it is recommended that this be achieved through periodic
surveys of a representative sample of passengers.
Recommendation 55: Mechanisms for capturing compliments and complaints should be retained
and supported by formal passenger satisfaction surveys.

5.2 MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE MEASURES
A wide range of key performance indicators (KPIs) can be established to determine the efficiency
with which passenger facilitation standards are being achieved. In particular, it is important to have
some understanding of how efficiently resources are being utilised. A suggested mechanism for
this is described in Section 5.2.1.
Some further measures that are required in support of the resource planning process are
discussion in Sections 5.2.2 to 5.2.5. These measures should form part of a monthly airport human
resource KPI report. Where possible, targets should be set at the commencement of each roster
and monitored on a monthly basis.
Customs is developing a performance framework for Passengers Branch activities. The early drafts
of this framework were considered as part of this review. In general, the underlying approach to the
framework appears sound. However, the measures themselves require further, detailed
consideration. In establishing a formal KPI framework to assist management in monitoring the
effectiveness and efficiency of Customs passengers operations, the following questions must be
asked of each potential KPI:


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How does the proposed KPI assist in identifying the current level of effectiveness or efficiency,
and what value does it offer in identifying reasons for sub-optimal performance?
Are there any circumstances that could distort the KPI and should these be excluded from its
measurement?
What quantities (inputs, outputs and outcomes) need to be measured in order to compute the
KPI, and can this measurement be realistically achieved?
In general terms, measures of effectiveness (such as the facilitation rate achieved) can be usefully
compared across different airports. However, this is not the case with efficiency indicators. This is
because the efficiency of Customs operations at an airport is affected by the profile of demand
which itself is a function of the airline schedules.
For example, both the number of full time equivalent (FTE) staff and the cost in dollars required to
process a given number of passengers might be expected to give an approximate indication of the
relative efficiency of operations at each airport. However, the number of FTE is primarily a function
of the traffic profile of a given airport, in terms of the variation in numbers of passengers over the
day and week and the level of enforcement risk presented. Therefore, it will vary not only between
airports but at the same airport over time as flight schedules change. The cost in dollars of
providing officers is dependent on the times of day those resources are required. Hence the cost
per passenger processed will be even less constant between airports than FTE per passenger.
Whilst these measures will indicate the variations in efficiency of operations between airports, they
are of little value because these variations in efficiency are caused by factors outside the control of
Customs. The impracticality of establishing any useful benchmarks means that their value for
improving the efficiency of operations is extremely limited. This is not to say, however, that such
KPIs are not useful for other purposes, however, simply that a different approach is required to
determine how efficiently resources are utilised.
5.2.1 ROSTER EFFICIENCY
Fundamentally, efficiency can be defined as the ratio between the minimum level of resources
required to achieve a particular set of outcomes and the level of resources actually employed to
achieve those outcomes. Determination of the efficiency of a roster therefore requires a benchmark
minimum level of resources to be established. This can only be achieved through a systematic and
integrated resource planning procedures of the type discussed in Section 3.1. This will result in a
predicted resource requirement against which the resource levels provided by a particular roster
can be compared.
In the context of Customs operations at airports, for the reasons described above, the cost of
resources is a more suitable measure than the level of resource itself. Therefore, the efficiency of
any particular airport roster can be expressed as:


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Roster efficiency = $ cost of providing predicted resource requirement
$ cost of resources delivered by roster
In order for such a measure to be useful, the following need to apply:
The predicted resource requirement must be as close as possible to the minimum level of
resources required to achieve the defined outcomes. It should assume that resources can be
accessed on demand for the extent of time they are required (at, say, minimum half-hour
intervals) and no more.
The predicted resource requirement must include critical estimates of the time associated with
all activities, including:
o operational activities including compliance, enforcement, customer care &
administration (based on calculated requirements);
o training (based on calculated requirements);
o operational absences, e.g. court attendances (estimated based on previous
experience);
o personal leave (based on previous 6 month actuals see Section 5.2.3);
o annual leave (based on entitlements in the CA);
o lost time through injuries (based on previous 6 month actuals see Section 5.2.5);
and
o employee separations (based on previous 6 month actuals see Section 5.2.4).
The resources delivered by the roster should include the same allowances for non-operational
activities as the predicted resource requirement and should also account for the extent of any
overtime planned to supplement the roster;
The costs of both the predicted resource requirement and the resources delivered by the roster
should be determined on the same basis;
Using this measure, the efficiency of different roster options can then be assessed with respect to
an ideal target (100%). Of course, 100% efficiency will not be achievable due to limitations to the
way in which staff can be rostered in practice. However, for each possible roster structure, an
efficiency value can be determined. The optimum roster solution, the one that provides the greatest
efficiency, can also be identified.
Each roster will also have an optimum level of overtime associated with it. Once a roster has been
selected and implemented, simply tracking the actual overtime rate against this target level should
indicate whether operations are remaining efficient.
In order to assess the efficiency of Customs current roster structures, therefore, it is first necessary
to identify the baseline predicted resource requirement. More rigorous long-term resource planning


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methods, such as those described in Section 3.1.1, would provide this baseline which will vary for
each airport and flight schedule.


Recommendation 56: The baseline predicted resource requirement should be established at
each airport in order to permit a meaningful assessment of the efficiency
of resource delivery by rosters. The baseline resource requirement must
be reviewed at each change of flight schedule and updated as necessary.
5.2.2 OVERTIME
The proportion of employee hours that are provided by the use of overtime can be a valuable
indicator of the cost-effectiveness of that resource. Each airport will be able to determine, for a
particular flight schedule, the optimum proportion of overtime that should be used to satisfy
demand, in terms of cost.
Monitoring, on a monthly basis, the actual proportion of overtime hours used would then allow
airport managers to ensure that the appropriate mix of resources is provided. Where the overtime
rate is consistently higher than the optimum, this would indicate that it would be more economical
to hire more part-time or full-time officers.
Recommendation 57: The proportion of overtime hours as a percentage of total hours worked
should be monitored at each airport.
5.2.3 ABSENTEEISM
Rates of absenteeism can provide a useful indicator of efficiency. Expected absenteeism also
needs to be planned for in determining overall resource requirements. It is therefore considered
essential to monitor absenteeism thoroughly.
Two measures should be used as they both serve different purposes:
the average number of days of absence per employee per year
the average number of absent employees per shift
Distinctions should be made between planned and unplanned absence and between absence on
weekdays, weekends and public holidays.
Recommendation 58: Rates of absenteeism should be monitored at each airport.


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5.2.4 EMPLOYEE SEPARATION
Separation of employees can have an impact on the efficiency of the operation at airports,
particularly of employees leave before the costs of training them have been recovered.
Transfers of employees to other Customs areas (internal separations) as well as those leaving the
organisation completely should be recorded. Rates of separation should be obtainable by length of
service at the airport to assist in identifying the effectiveness of assignment policies.
Recommendation 59: Internal and external employee separation rates should be monitored at
each airport and for the Passengers branch as a whole.
5.2.5 LOST TIME INJURY RATE
The lost time injury rate (LTIR) is a standard measure of proportion of working hours lost as a result
of workplace OH&S issues. It is usually expressed in hours per employee per year.
Historical data on the LTIR can assist in planning required resource levels to ensure the required
outcomes can be achieved.
Recommendation 60: The lost time injury rate should be monitored at each airport.



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6.0 SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
6.1 WORK PRACTICES/BUSINESS PROCESSES
1. Methods of better communicating the availability of incoming passenger cards to passengers,
including those in foreign languages, should be considered. The role of other stakeholders, and
the use of pre-arrival messages, whether paid for by Customs or through changes to legislation
requirements, in preparing passengers for incoming border procedures should be reviewed.
2. The practice of providing separate queues for Australian and New Zealand passport holders,
and for holders of other passports, at the entry control point should be standardised at all
airports, in the interests of ensuring a consistent arrival experience for passengers.
3. Measures to reduce entry control point cycle times by improving passenger readiness should
be adopted at SYD, MEL and BNE. Customs should seek to secure the cooperation of airlines
and airport operators to achieve this. The potential benefits of this strategy at other airports
should be reviewed.
4. Customs should work to expedite the necessary changes to infrastructure to discontinue the
use of the red and green exit system at all airports, through the passenger facilitation task
force. Standardisation should be achieved as quickly as possible in the interests of
consistency.
5. Sufficient resources should be provided in busy periods dedicated to the active management of
passengers attempting to exit the baggage hall. Customs should use the passenger facilitation
task force to investigate necessary capacity enhancements within the Secondary Examination
Area (SEA).
6. Sufficient marshal resources should be provided to prevent the Customs marshal point from
being a limiting factor in the queuing process for the Secondary Examination Area.
7. The opportunity for streamlining the Customs and AQIS marshalling duties for the Secondary
Examination Area should be investigated through the passenger facilitation task force.
8. Queuing arrangements for the Secondary Examination Area at individual airports should be
further scrutinised for their effectiveness, ease of understanding by passengers, the efficiency
with which they utilise the available space and the extent to which they impact on passenger
flows in the baggage hall.
9. The value of the express exit gate system in relieving congestion in the Secondary
Examination Area should be reviewed through the passenger facilitation task force.


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10. Customs should seek to secure the cooperation of airlines and airport operators to ensure
passengers have completed their OPC before entering the queue and have it ready for
inspection at the desk along with their passport. This principle should be established at a
national level as well as between the regions and individual airports.
11. Customs should, through the passenger facilitation task force, encourage airport operators to
relocate the security screening point immediately prior to the outwards control point wherever
possible.
12. The number of passengers that have passed through the OCP for each flight should be
monitored and compared with the known passenger numbers in real time to assist in
determining immediately forthcoming resource requirements for the OCP to enable
achievement of agreed performance outcomes.
13. Customs should secure the cooperation of the airlines in developing and implementing a formal
arrangement for advising Customs, as far in advance as possible, of the presence of large
groups of passengers on flights and providing notification when these check-in.
14. Customs should review internally its publicly visible enforcement work practices for the
potential to carry out these activities in other locations so that the officers conducting them
appear more active.
15. Customs should ensure that it does everything in its power to effectively manage its
interactions with other airport stakeholders, in the interest of enhancing Customs ability to
perform its portfolio of responsibilities as efficiently as possible.
16. Customs and DIAC should consider whether there is scope to consolidate the processes at the
primary support point so that they are carried out by a single authority.
17. Customs and DIAC should cooperate to minimise the referral of documents to the primary
support point for common issues that can be resolved quickly and effectively at the primary
line.
18. Customs must work to achieve a stronger relationship and clearer division of responsibilities
between Customs and AQIS with respect to the management of passengers in the Secondary
Examination Area (SEA) and baggage hall. This should be achieved through formal
agreements at a national level.
19. Customs must educate airport operators more effectively about the impact of the decisions
they take on the ability of Customs to expedite the flow of passengers through the airport.
20. Customs should investigate the opportunities for access to and sharing of airline arrival time
and passenger loading information in the most efficient manner.


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21. Customs should continue to build relationships with airline representatives to facilitate
beneficial baggage delivery arrangements wherever possible.
6.2 STAFFING
22. In planning long-term resource requirements, adequate account must be taken of anticipated
variations in passenger numbers and aircraft arrival times. Resource requirements should be
planned explicitly to achieve the current specified performance targets. Adequate resources
must be allocated to resource planning activities to achieve these objectives.
23. Long-term resource planning for Customs enforcement activities should be carried out as
rigorously as possible and the results incorporated into the overall workforce planning process.
24. Team members should be rotated regularly to facilitate consistency of work practice between
teams.
25. A roster development tool, similar to that used currently at SYD, should be provided to all
airport managers to assist in the development of roster options to meet the planned resource
requirements. The tool should include a method for estimating the cost of different roster
structures, with the preferred options subject to detailed costing prior to consultation with staff.
26. Customs should encourage and facilitate the application of NAPI at each airport to assist in the
operational planning process.
27. Overtime rates should be measured on a monthly basis at each airport. Financial comparisons
should be carried out to determine if ongoing levels of overtime are the most economical
means of resource provision.
28. The daily planning spreadsheet used at SYD should be made available to other airports,
together with the necessary support, to assist in planning adjustments to resource deployment
throughout each days operations.
29. The content of the Customs Trainee course program should be as consistent as possible
throughout the different regions.
30. The Customs Trainee course program should include training in basic customer service
techniques such as respect and courtesy.
31. Suitable methods for recording individual employees training history and requirements should
be investigated. These should show currency dates and highlight any forthcoming
recertification requirements. Training should be actively planned in advance of lapses of
currency to achieve efficiencies in offline time.
32. The numbers of officers required to hold certifications for various functions at any given time
should be critically reviewed.


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33. The planning and approval of recruitment initiatives should include an allowance for expected
staff separations between the initiation of the recruitment process and the expected graduation
date.
34. The length of time Customs Trainees are retained at the airport should be reviewed to ensure
that the cost of airport-specific training for those employees is adequately recovered.
35. Suitable arrangements should be introduced to accommodate the employment of highly trained
and experienced officers on a part-time contract basis.
36. A job description for part-time officers should be developed. Mechanisms by which such
officers could be integrated within the Customs personnel structure should be investigated.
37. Customs should consider the use of part-time officers at MEL and BNE initially and, subject to
positive results there, review the potential to engage them at SYD in light of labour market
considerations.
6.3 INFRASTRUCTURE & TECHNOLOGY
38. Customs should, through the appropriate forum, secure formal arrangements with airport
operators that allow Customs sufficient opportunity to independently review redevelopment
proposals in respect of the potential impacts on the efficiency and effectiveness of Customs
operations.
39. Arrangements by which Customs Officers can be utilised at other Customs facilities once their
airport duties have been fulfilled should be given serious consideration, on a region-by-region
basis. This should include a review of the relative locations of Customs infrastructure
throughout each region, in particular Customs House.
40. A consistent signage policy should be developed. This should address aspects such as the
content, style and siting of Customs signs as well as the interaction with the signs of other
stakeholders, particularly airport operators.
41. The size and number of signs that are required to be provided under legislation should be
limited to the minimum extent required by law.
42. The use of free-standing signs should be avoided wherever possible and should be limited to
situations where they will be sufficiently visible.
43. The content and location of dynamic signs should be thoroughly reviewed as part of an overall
signage strategy.
44. The value of using commercial advertising space to convey appropriate messages should be
considered by Customs.


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45. Customs should investigate the potential to develop joint signs with AQIS for certain
messages.
46. The directing of passengers on the approach to and within the ECP and OCP should be
achieved solely through the use of airport operator signage wherever possible. Where
necessary, this should be supplemented by information above individual ECP/OCP modules
that is clearly visible from the rear of the queuing area.
47. Customs should ensure individual airport stakeholders are aware of the nature and extent of
the impacts the implementation of SmartGate will have on passenger flows.
48. Customs should not proceed with the implementation of electronic queue management
systems without a full and detailed consideration of the impacts such systems will have on
queuing arrangements and passenger processing rates.
6.4 PERFORMANCE MEASURES
49. Customs should use the passenger facilitation task force to establish an integrated framework
of passenger facilitation measures covering all relevant airport processes.
50. The current inwards passenger facilitation standard should be retained for operations at the
entry control point.
51. Frequent and rigorous review of the median pre-queue times appropriate to passengers at
each airport should be conducted, to ensure the current method of measurement of the
inwards passenger facilitation rate remains sufficiently accurate.
52. Achievement of passenger facilitation standards should be determined on an annual basis,
with more regular monitoring of ongoing rates by airport managers as necessary.
53. The impact of downstream capacity limitations on facilitation rates should be recorded. Where
the impact can be shown to be significant, airport operators should be advised that facilitation
rates cannot be guaranteed until remedial action is taken.
54. A performance standard for outwards passenger facilitation, in terms of the maximum time
taken to process a defined proportion of passengers through the OCP, should be developed
and agreed with airline representatives and airport operators. Measurement of performance
against the standard should take account of the variation of passenger numbers at different
times of the day.
55. Mechanisms for capturing compliments and complaints should be retained and supported by
formal passenger satisfaction surveys.
56. The baseline predicted resource requirement should be established at each airport in order to
permit a meaningful assessment of the efficiency of resource delivery by rosters. The baseline


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resource requirement must be reviewed at each change of flight schedule and updated as
necessary.
57. The proportion of overtime hours as a percentage of total hours worked should be monitored at
each airport.
58. Rates of absenteeism should be monitored at each airport.
59. Internal and external employee separation rates should be monitored at each airport and for
the Passengers branch as a whole.
60. The lost time injury rate should be monitored at each airport.


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7.0 CONCLUSIONS
This review has revealed a number of potential areas whereby the efficiency and consistency of
practice of Customs operations and the quality of the passenger experience could be enhanced.
Measures that can reduce the length of time it takes to process passengers at the ECP and OCP,
even only slightly, can lead to significant efficiencies in terms of the resources required for these
activities. The provision of additional resources in the ECP and OCP queues to ensure effective
queue management and ensure passengers have the appropriate documents correctly completed
and ready for inspection is considered worthwhile, particularly at the larger airports. If these duties
could be combined with enforcement activities then even greater efficiencies could be gained. The
benefits of such an approach would be threefold:
a reduction in overall resource requirements for the same outcomes;
enhancement of the passenger experience; and
an improved public perception of Customs.
Whilst congestion in the baggage hall and Secondary Examination Area ultimately stems from a
fundamental lack of capacity for both Customs and quarantine inspection, there are a number of
ways in which Customs can assist in smoothing the flow of passengers and overcoming these
infrastructure limitations. These include more active management of passengers in the baggage
hall and streamlining of the marshalling process. A stronger and more defined relationship with
AQIS is essential to achieving this outcome.
Potential for incremental efficiencies in passenger processing also exist from better relationships
with other key airport stakeholders, particularly airport operators, airlines and DIAC. Improved co-
operation from these organisations, especially with respect to more effective communication of key
information, will allow more efficient deployment of Customs resources to meet the constantly
changing demands of the airport environment.
Through the systematic, integrated, planning of resource requirements resource levels that more
closely match those required to deliver Customs specific outcomes can be predicted. This can be
achieved through the incorporation of key influences such as expected airline schedule
performance and Customs specific performance targets. More rigorous planning of predicted
resources allows an economical roster structure to be developed and implemented with greater
confidence that the twin objectives of efficiency and effectiveness are being achieved. In order to
support the resource planning process, as series of basic human resources factors need to be
monitored.
If more rigorous planning reveals a need for an increase in total resources, then this should be
accepted in the confidence that this more closely predicts the true requirement to achieve Customs


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defined outcomes. However, it is considered far more likely that the better understanding of the real
resource requirements will actually facilitate a more efficient provision and deployment of
resources. If the potential efficiency savings identified by this review can be realised, overall
resource requirements should reduce at most airports.
There appears to be some potential to accommodate part-time officers to accommodate peak
period flows at the larger airports. However, at smaller airports the flexibility offered by a completely
multi-skilled workforce is essential to efficient operations. An alternative, and potentially more
fruitful approach, might be to develop a graduated Customs Trainee program which would spread
training costs over a longer period and allow officers to be productive in certain functions at a much
earlier stage than presently.
Infrastructure limitations will continue to present challenges to Customs and other stakeholders
who must conduct operations at airports. More effective education of airport operators about the
impacts of their decisions, combined with earlier involvement in redevelopment proposals, is
required to overcome these difficulties. The flexible deployment of Customs resources between the
airport and other locations has considerable merit in achieving the most efficient utilisation of staff.
From a technology perspective, Customs signage at airports needs to be comprehensively
reviewed. The messages, form of delivery, location and audience need to be considered carefully.
Signage is not always the most effective medium and alternative methods of delivery of key
messages should be considered.
The measurement of inwards passenger facilitation rates is, and should continue to be, a
satisfactory indicator of performance at the entry control point. However, this represents only a part
of Customs facilitation activity at airports. The current passenger facilitation standard should be
considered within integrated framework of passenger facilitation measures covering all relevant
airport processes, which Customs should work to establish through the passenger facilitation task
force. Performance measures for facilitation by Customs in the Secondary Examination Area are
not appropriate. However the development of a passenger facilitation performance measure for the
outward control point would be beneficial to Customs in managing its interactions with other
stakeholders.












APPENDIX TERMS OF REFERENCE








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1.0 INTRODUCTION
This document forms the Terms of Reference for a review of the Australian Customs Service
Passengers Functions at International Airports. It sets out the specific requirements for each
element of the study, mechanisms for progress reporting of cost and program during the study, and
the ultimate deliverables.

2.0 DATA COLLECTION
2.1 INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS
Information that is required to fulfil the Terms of Reference of this study is as follows:
airline schedules for arriving and departing international flights at each airport, representing
both the northern summer and northern winter seasons;
details of how current Customs staffing levels are determined from airline schedules at each
airport;
historical data on the variation between scheduled and actual aircraft arrival and departure
times
historical data on actual passenger numbers on each flight, by nationality of passport held and
by size of family group
historical data on processing time distributions for passengers at the Entry Control Point (ECP),
and Outwards Control Point (OCP) on a flight-by-flight basis, by nationality of passport held
and by size of family group
statistical or raw data on actual passenger queuing time or queue lengths for the OCP and
ECP (for validation purposes);
historical data on the distribution of time-of-processing versus scheduled departure time of the
flight for passengers at the OCP;
historical data on staff absenteeism and turnover levels, by location;
observational data on the nature, extent and location of signage and other information provided
to passengers in advance of their arrival at Customs processes


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2.2 FIELDWORK AT AIRPORTS
Fieldwork will be undertaken at the following airports by our Contract Officer and Senior Consultant
(with approximate durations at each airport):
Sydney (3 days)
Perth (2 days)
Adelaide (2 days)
Melbourne (3 days)
Specific activities that will be undertaken at each airport, subject to prior Customs approval,
include:
observation of overall activity in Customs controlled areas;
identification of any critical or problem areas in terms of passenger flows;
discussions with the relevant Customs personnel regarding staffing issues particular to each
airport, including details of how shift requirements and rosters are developed;
discussions with Customs personnel about work practices and business processes;
discussions with Customs personnel regarding interactions with other agencies processes;
a detailed review of the extent, nature and effectiveness of passenger wayfinding and
instructional signage;
consultation with the airport operator, airlines and any other relevant agencies regarding
external issues affecting Customs processes.
Customs will facilitate access to the required areas and discussions with the relevant internal and
third-party personnel at each airport.
Observations of airport operations outside normal working hours will be essential. This will include
some observations at anti-social hours of the night and at weekends.



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3.0 REVIEW OF WORK PRACTICE/BUSINESS PROCESSES
A review of work practices/business processes will be carried out to determine the extent to which
the current work practices/business processes deliver, in the most efficient and effective way
possible, the business objectives within relevant standards.
A detailed assessment will be undertaken to identify any areas where potential efficiencies or
improvements in effectiveness could be made. Modifications to work practices and business
processes will be considered with due regard to:
Customs regulatory responsibilities under the Customs Act 1901 and other Acts of parliament
administered by Customs relevant to the passengers function;
Customs regulatory partnerships with other border agencies;
airport throughput capacities and configurations;
airline schedules;
regional and seasonal factors;
interfaces with other stakeholders, including airport operators; and
relevant human resources considerations
Any improvements to business practices considered worthy of more detailed analysis will be
identified. The value of these improvements to Customs, in terms of reduced resource
requirements, increased efficiencies in the use of resources, reallocation of resources to detection
and enforcement activities and enhancement of the passenger experience will then be assessed.
Observations regarding the interactions between processes under the control of Customs and
those controlled by other organisations will also be made. Where clear benefits to Customs are
considered to follow from changes to other organisations work practices, similar assessment of the
potential benefits may be valuable in assisting Customs in its discussions with other stakeholders.
The review will include advice as to how Customs can act to immediately improve the passenger
experience when leaving the baggage reclaim area.



Ref: Rehbein AOS - Review of
Passenger Functions [UNCLASSIFIED]
B-4
Australian Customs Service
Review of Passengers Functions

4.0 REVIEW OF STAFFING
A review of staffing will be conducted to determine the extent to which current staffing
arrangements, including workforce planning, recruitment, deployment and rostering, deliver
capable staff able to undertake requisite business processes to achieve business outcomes. The
assessment will have regard to:
Customs Certified Agreement;
Public Service Act 1999;
Australian Workplace Relations Act 1996;
Occupational Health and Safety principles
Job design;
Proximity to other Customs (non-passenger) facilities
The review will comprise three steps, as follows.
1. A comparison of the extent to which current rostering practices allow Customs to achieve
its business objectives. For a particular airport and flight schedule, staffing levels for the
primary line function will be determined using current rostering and resource planning
practices.
2. A review of rostering practice, based on the outcomes of the assessment, and propose
potential improvements to rostering procedures that could be made in order to increase the
degree of fit between rostered and required resource levels. These observations will be
general in nature and cover the range of situations experienced by Customs as identified
from the representative sample of airports considered in this study. The degree to which
workplace flexibility and multi-skilling practices are, or should be, adopted will be given
particular consideration.
3. A review of Customs recruitment and selection policy and its approach to training will
include consideration of the relative merits of multi-skilled versus specialist officers for the
carrying out of particular functions. Recommendations will be made regarding changes to
any of these elements which might assist in the achievement of Customs business
objectives.



Ref: Rehbein AOS - Review of
Passenger Functions [UNCLASSIFIED]
B-5
Australian Customs Service
Review of Passengers Functions

5.0 REVIEW OF TECHNOLOGY
Rehbein AOS will review the extent to which technology does or could further the efficient and
effective delivery of Customs business outcomes. The assessment will have regard to:
dynamic and other signage, including fixed, free-standing and electronic signs;
airport logistics, including airport/airline baggage delivery arrangements; and
spatial configuration issues.
The effectiveness of dynamic and other signage is considered particularly important and the
assessment will incorporate a detailed review of the extent, nature and effectiveness of existing
passenger wayfinding and instructional signage at each airport visited. From this, potential
improvements to passenger flows and behaviours that might be effected through modifications or
additions to the existing visual cues will be identified.
The assessment will have regard to airport logistics, and will include consideration of these issues
through discussions with airport operators and airline representatives as appropriate.
The review of technology will also consider the extent to which real-time updates on flight progress
and aircraft parking allocations might be accessed and usefully applied by Customs.


Ref: Rehbein AOS - Review of
Passenger Functions [UNCLASSIFIED]
B-6
Australian Customs Service
Review of Passengers Functions

6.0 REVIEW OF PERFORMANCE MEASURES
A review of the extent to which the current performance measures usefully quantify Customs
passengers business outcomes at airports, in terms of Customs management of passenger
screening and processing activities, will be carried out. The assessment will have regard to:
Customs current performance standard
Airline schedules and scheduling arrangements
Airport through-put capacities and configurations
Seasonal and regional factors
Customs enforcement activities such as risk management methods will not be subject to review.
However, issues such as the presentation, courtesy, and professionalism of Customs officers
during interventions with passengers will be considered.
Rehbein AOS will use its expertise to identify suitably specific, measurable, achievable and
relevant measures of performance.
We will review in detail aspects such as average pre-queue times for appropriateness and their
impact of measured performance.
Simulation modelling will be used to assist in the assessment of suitable achievable performance
targets by considering the range of performance outcomes which can be expected to occur in
practice in a variety of situations.
Potential performance metrics relating to issues such as efficiency and effectiveness of resource
usage, consistency of management practice and the quality of the passenger experience will be
considered. Any suggested performance measures will take into account and identify the impact of
airport infrastructure on Customs ability to manage itself and meet its agenda, and the impact on
the passenger experience.


Ref: Rehbein AOS - Review of
Passenger Functions [UNCLASSIFIED]
B-7
Australian Customs Service
Review of Passengers Functions

7.0 PROGRESS REPORTING
7.1 FORTNIGHTLY PROGRESS REPORTS
Progress reports will be submitted on a fortnightly basis. The progress reports will be provided
electronically to Customs.
These reports will include:
a copy of the current agreed project programme showing the completion status of each
task;
a statement comparing the cost to date against the agreed budget;
identification of any issues requiring resolution, together with responsibilities for action
and target dates; and
proposals for rectifying any unacceptable program slippage or cost escalation.

7.2 INTERIM PROJECT PROGRESS REVIEW
A detailed appraisal of progress, cost and quality issues will be carried out at Customs offices in
Canberra and involve our Project Director, Contract Officer and Senior Consultant together with
Customs Project Officer.
The review will offer an opportunity to resolve any outstanding technical or scope issues that could
affect the outcome of the project.
The review will be carried out following the completion of the airport field visits.



Ref: Rehbein AOS - Review of
Passenger Functions [UNCLASSIFIED]
B-8
Australian Customs Service
Review of Passengers Functions

8.0 DELIVERABLES
8.1 DRAFT REPORT
Following the completion of the study, a draft report will be prepared detailing the investigations,
assessment, options and recommendations for optimising performance in each of the four areas
considered. An electronic (.pdf) copy of the draft report will be submitted to Customs.
Following Customs internal review of the draft report, our Contract Officer and Senior Consultant
will present the key findings of the report to Customs in Canberra and receive feedback regarding
the report.

8.2 FINAL REPORT
Following receipt of feedback from Customs regarding the draft report, and the conduct of any
follow up investigation that might be required, a final report will be prepared incorporating all of
Customs comments. An electronic (.pdf) copy and two (2) hard copies of the final report will be
submitted to Customs.
Following submission of the final report, Rehbein AOS will present the assessment findings and
recommendations to Customs.