Following the successful implementation of automated border control gates at Prague airport in 2011, the Czech border police have agreed to expand the project, known as EasyGO.
The project expansion will involve the installation of ten more eGates in both arrivals and departures and will also involve an upgrade of the entire airport IT infrastructure which will include a new Terminal Control Centre and maintenance contract.
Using a Secunet system, Prague airport uses electronic authentication of ePassports, identity cards and uses facial scanning and comparison with electronic data.
Automated border control solutions are becoming commonplace across the world as countries strive to improve security.
Border Crossing Information (BCI) is to be updated by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency to include biometric data as a part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) initiative to improve the quality of information and in an ‘ongoing effort to better reflect the categories of records in its collection of information,’ it was announced last week.
Included in the latest collections will be digital fingerprinting, iris scans, photographs of faces and distinguishing marks – scars, tattoos – and palm prints. Advance Passenger Information will also be used in association with the database to ensure an accurate representation of identification at the borders.
Although still much debated amongst privacy advocates, biometric information is being collected around the world in a bid to improve border and ultimately national, security during a time of heightened terror attack.
Providers of border security management systems are consistently using the latest technologies to deliver reliable, secure transmission of all biometric data.
The Bulgarian government has co-financed eBorders technology at three airports across the country in an effort to enhance border security. The new automated border control in now in operation at Fraport AG and eGates in Varna and Burgas.
Passengers with machine-readable passports can now pass through the eBorders technology and be scanned via facial recognition software. The system is designed to expedite passenger processing systems and enhance efficiency, while maintaining border security control.
Self-service technology is expanding across the world’s busiest airports and with numbers seeing an increase of an average of 5% every year, airports, governments and border security agencies are searching for solutions to speed up the process, yet tighten security across a country’s borders.
eBorders technology is intelligent and can relay information at a faster rate. Using self-service solutions also gives passengers a greater sense of control over their journey and can maximise operational productivity for airlines and airports.
Zurich Airport has made improvements to its border management system with the installation of a new biometric Advanced Border Control System from Secunet AG. The system upgrade has given Zurich Airport an almost automated process for checking passenger documentation and has also increased flexibility for the airport, almost completely replacing the previous infrastructure for border management.
The inclusion of a fingerprint reader ensures Swiss compliance with mandatory regulations (VIS II) and electronic passport readers have streamlined the passenger processing system for the inspection and checking of identification.
The new system offers airport police the opportunity to access real-time information as the Secunet technology serves as a central interface.
“Travellers and border control staff now have access to the most state-of-the-art border control system in Europe,” said Dr. Rainer Baumgart, chairman of the board at Secunet AG. “The highly modular Secunet biomiddle solution and the new user interface, developed in partnership with the Zurich Cantonal Police, have set new standards in border control technology.”
Airport workstations have been connected to Swiss Police databases as a major part of the infrastructure upgrade process.
As airport traffic increases exponentially each year by an average of 5%, the need for streamlined automated border control processes also increases if ground delays are to be minimised and operational productivity at a high level.
Automated border control technology providers are under increasing pressure to maintain high levels of security across borders all over the world.
According to Georg Hasse, Senior Product Manager of the Portfolio of Electronic Identities at Secunet, leading German IT security company, this year has been an excellent year in terms of sales and industry technological advancements. Europe is expected to dominate the automated border control market over the next five years, so recent research from Acuity tells us, and Germany are embracing the latest technology for biometric border control.
What is being dubbed the ‘border control revolution’ in some corners of the industry, involves the use of biometric recognition in the form of electronic passports, VISAs and residence permits – a growing trend that is quickly spreading as the entire system offers enhanced border security, while keeping operational costs to a minimum.
Across the globe, border security is a hot topic as the threat of terrorism is tackled with a bid to track and monitor the movements of potential persons of interest.
Secunet has been working closely with the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) in the field of biometrics for many years, notes Mr Hasse. Secunet prefers to look at the subject of identity protection as a process, rather than a single solution. He said, “This is a decisive advantage for our customers: our biometrics specialists have a better understanding of the effects a new project will have on previous or subsequent process stages than anyone else. For our customers, this guarantees smooth integration of their solution into the overall process. Within the biometrics industry we are well known for our BioAPI 2.0 compliant biometric middleware Secunet biomiddle that is being used by various public authorities in Europe as a platform for their border control and visa applications. This middleware is also an integral part of our eGate solution Secunet easygate that is currently being rolled out at German airports within EasyPASS, the German ABC project. In addition we offer a modular Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) solution called Secunet eID PKI Suite that is being used in the border control context with modern eMRTDs.”
Earlier this month, the UK government raised issues about the provision of Advance Passenger Information to further strengthen directives to protect European borders. Currently the E.U. carry strict policy restrictions for the handling of passenger data. It will be interesting to watch the debate continue in light of the growth of biometric border security solutions industry.