The National : THE NATIONAL Issue 1 2009
ATTENTION AUSSIES AND KIWIS PLANNING TO ATTEND CLEAN ‘09 CONFUSION over USA’s new entry rules for travellers by Arjun Ramachandran, Sydney Morning Herald, January 8, 2009 - with AP Australians travelling to the US after January 11th could be blocked from boarding their flights should they fail to complete little-publicised new entry requirements. But although the new rules are part of the US government’s attempts to strengthen border security after the attacks of September 11, 2001, there appears to be confusion in Australia about who will enforce them. Australians flying to the US can currently get a visa waiver allowing them to stay for up to 90 days, but from MONDAY, 12TH JANUARY 2009 passengers must first apply online for “electronic travel authorisation”. Those who don’t get the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) won’t be allowed to board their flight, the US Department of Homeland Security website says. But it was not clear who would stop unauthorised Australians from boarding. “They should be checking them at the airport prior to travel,” said Brad Niemann, vice- consul at the US consulate in Sydney. “From what I understand they are in a position to (access information about who has been successfully authorised).” An Australian Customs Service spokeswoman said customs officers would not be checking passengers had completed the authorisation process. This would be done by the airlines, she said. But Qantas said the latest information it had was that airlines were not responsible for the checks. “US authorities advised the International Air Transport Association (IATA) last year that during the initial implementation of ESTA from 12 January, airlines would not be required to confirm a passenger had obtained the travel authorisation,” a Qantas spokeswoman said. However Qantas was upgrading its check-in systems to meet any future US requirements, she said. Qantas check-in staff would also give passengers travelling to US information about ESTA that had been provided by the US government, she said. More than 40,000 Australians travelled to the US each month, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. If the authorisation rules are successfully enforced at Australian airports, there could be ugly scenes amid fears few travellers know about the new requirements. Airlines have expressed a fear of airport chaos when the authorisation becomes mandatory on January 12 (it has been operating on a voluntary basis since August last year). “Unless the message gets out really quickly, there’s a growing concern that people will turn up for their holiday ... and won’t be able to get on the plane,” an airline spokesman, who asks not to be named, told the Sun Herald last October. “The airline staff won’t be able to fix it.” But Mr Niemann said the authorisation process was simple and instantaneous, and could even be done at the airport should a traveller turn up for their flight without having completed the online process. “Anyone can fill it out for you. As long as you can call someone who can access the internet, or even if you get on a computer at the airport [you’ll be fine],” he said. “From what I’ve seen 99 per cent of people get immediate approval ... you could even do it with a Blackberry.” About 300,000 were approved through the online process by November last year with less than 0.5 per cent of applications refused, according to US officials. 2 THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER, JANUARY/FEBRUARY/MARCH 2009 The maharajah of an Indian Province issued a royal decree. He ordered that no one was to kill any wild animals while he was the country's leader. The decree was honoured until there were so many tigers running loose that the people revolted and threw the maharajah from power. This is the first known instance of the reign being called on account of the game...
THE NATIONAL Issue 2 2009
THE NATIONAL Issue 3 2008