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Photo: Vancouver International Airport

Iceland hosts first border control kiosks in Schengen area

Four facial recognition kiosks have been installed in Keflavik International Airport as part of a six-month pilot program for the Schengen area.

Innovative Travel Solutions (ITS) by Vancouver International Airport (YVR) announced the implementation of four BorderXpress kiosks at Keflavik International Airport (KEF) in Iceland. The kiosks are part of a six-month pilot to simulate the impending requirements of the Entry/Exit System (EES) of the Schengen Area. This is the first automated kiosk-based border control solution in a Schengen member state.

“We recognize the complexity and challenges that many Schengen member states face with the implementation of new regulation for entry and exit border control. Kiosk-based solutions, like BorderXpress, have a critical role to play in helping Schengen member states effectively fulfil the new security and data collection requirements outlined by the European Commission, while also keeping pace with increasing demand for air travel,” says Craig Richmond, president and CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority.

The EES is a part of the Smart Border package introduced by the European Commission. It will be fully operational in all the Schengen countries by the end of 2021.

In July 2018, BorderXpress became the first permanent kiosks to provide border control in Europe with the launch of 74 biometric-enabled kiosks at Pafos International Airport and Larnaka International Airport in Cyprus.

BorderXpress uses “self-service biometric-enabled kiosks to expedite the border control process”. At the kiosk, travellers select their language, scan their travel documents and answer a few simple questions.

The kiosk also captures an image of each passenger’s face which can be compared with and verified against the photo in their electronic passport. Travellers then take their completed kiosk receipt to a border services authority.

The technology was developed by ITS, an independent business unit within YVR.

The company says that the kiosks are proven to reduce passenger wait times by more than 60% and that a recent paper published by InterVISTAS concludes that kiosks significantly outperform traditional immigration processing.

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