New border controls for the European Union are planned to come into force in 2022. The new EU Entry-Exit System (EES) is designed to ensure robust and consistent checks on travelers along the entirety of Europe’s external borders.
To meet this requirement, SITA is launching new automatic border control kiosks to capture high-quality biometric data and provide greater control over EU admissibility while minimizing wait times for travelers.
SITA’s new TS6 Automated Border Control (ABC) kiosks have been developed to accommodate future upgrades and changing requirements, such as the use of new biometric capture devices or the introduction of a printer to provide receipts to travelers.
SITA’s next-generation solution uses the biometric data captured at its ABC kiosks to expedite processing at the ABC gates.
Jeremy Springall, Vice-President Border Management, SITA said: “The introduction of EES will bring significant benefits but also presents operational challenges for EU member states to achieve smooth and effective border processes. Maximizing the value delivered by the introduction of EES requires an approach that goes beyond the initial acquisition of gates, kiosks, and biometric devices. Member states now have a unique opportunity to positively transform their border operations through the intelligent integration of new and existing border management systems.”
With SITA border solutions in place, arriving travelers in the Schengen Zone will be able to confirm their registration in the Central EES system at the kiosk, update their travel record with any new travel document or visa details, confirm their biometric data and make declarations specific to their journey. The biometric data can then be used to identify the traveler at the ABC gate – enabling them to proceed directly through the gate by facial recognition alone.
The additional requirement to collect biometric and biographic data for all Third Country Nationals (TCNs) entering the Schengen Zone, will increase time spent at the border crossing point – potentially creating queues and unfavorably impacting upon traveler experiences. While the temporary reduction in traveler numbers relating to COVID-19 has alleviated the burden on travel infrastructure, new social-distancing guidelines will require authorities to avoid bottlenecks at border crossing points to minimize the risk of infection.
SITA’s two-step process has been developed to tackle this issue by enabling parallel processing of travelers: while face capture and matching begin the moment a traveler enters the gate, the next traveler can already be scanning their travel document in readiness to enter.
SITA said significant efforts have also been made to ensure the fine-tuning of face capture and matching algorithms to ensure that the process works for the widest possible range of travelers.