Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Airport trials immigration e-gates

Dublin Airport has been chosen for a six-month trial of e-gate border controls
Dublin Airport has been chosen for a six-month trial of e-gate border controls

Adult airline passengers from Ireland and dozens of European countries will be allowed to check themselves through immigration in a new self-service border control.

Dublin Airport has been chosen for a six-month trial of so-called e-gates, where travellers will use a special machine to match their faces with the photo on their passport.

It will be for over 18s and only open to citizens of Ireland, the 27 European Union countries and Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway passing through terminal one.

The Department of Justice said that in time, it is hoped e-gates can be used to speed up immigration clearance for all tourists and travellers.

It said the technology will also help strengthen border security as it will allow for the early interception of false documents and illegal entry into the state.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said it is part of major change at the airport, saying: "Civilian immigration officers are replacing gardai with the aim of freeing up garda resources for other policing duties, immigration control processes are being reviewed and leading-edge border technology such as automated gates is being tested."

"Many major European airports are adopting a similar trend towards the deployment of automated gates for immigration control functions to enhance passengers' experience on arrival at airports while also strengthening border security."

The trial is being run in co-operation with the Dublin Airport Authority and is supported by automated border gate technology provided at no cost to the state by SITA and Accenture.

The passport checks will be located in pier A/D in terminal one, which processes 4.4 million passengers into the state every year. Passengers will not have to present themselves to an immigration officer but instead verify their passport electronically.

The e-gates are being operated under the supervision of immigration officers of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service deployed at the airport as part of the civilianisation programme to transfer certain immigration control functions from gardai.

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