Lisbon airport first to trial EC’s smart borders programme


Portugal’s Lisbon International Airport has become the first in Europe to try a pilot programme studying the Entry/Exit control procedures of third country nationals into the Schengen Area.

The European Commission’s Smart Borders programme will cover the procedures for these nationals in through Automated and Manual Border Control Check Points at airports, land, and sea borders.

The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service is using biometric tech developed by Vision-Box for the programme, in collaboration with ANA/Vinci Airports.

The project, which began in 15 March and will run until the end of June, is being coordinated by the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA).

There are 12 EU Members States participating in the program: Portugal, Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Hungary, Greece, Italy and Romania.

The pilot aims to identify the best technical solutions for each specific type of border using multi-modal biometric identification and verification processes and comparing the metrics and usability of each solution through specific reporting methods.

The results of the pilot programs will set the foundation for a common, standardized platform used to manage European borders, namely for an Entry/Exit System (EES) and a Registered Traveller Program (RTP). By combining these initiatives, European Member States will be able to monitor traveller flow using an EU-unified system, proactively identifying irregular situations such as travellers overstaying their visits.

The project also has a secondary objective in raising awareness of the mechanisms used to ensure the integrity and privacy of all captured biometric data, in compliance with the EU regulations.

The European Commission will analyse the findings of the eu-LISA Smart-Border Pilot Program with the expectation that biometrics and Automated Border Control will be part of a solution for a common European Border Control Strategy.

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