Indra to lead major EU project
Technology and consulting firm Indra has announced it is spearheading Automated Border Control Gates for Europe (ABC4EU), the European R&D project to enhance airport automated border control systems.
The project aims to update and integrate current Automated Border Control (ABC) Gates systems and extend their use to second-generation passports and third-country nationals from outside the European Union. The budget of the ABC4EU project is worth 16.8 million euros.
Many ABC Gates have been deployed in the main European airports in recent years, most of them as pilot projects intended to test their capability to improve border crossing speed, security and automation and reduced false rejection rates.
Such systems validate the passenger’s identity card or passport by checking its authenticity and verifying that it belongs to the holder. The procedure involves checking a variety of biometric parameters, such as the person’s fingerprints and facial features.
Currently, these systems can only be used by EU citizens. In order to extend their use to non-EU nationals, ABC4EU consortium will assess the feasibility of integrating them with a future register that regular travellers can join for automated border pass. The consortium will also enhance the management of the latest generation passports, which incorporate high-security features and biometric information.
According to Indra, harmonising systems is one of the most pressing targets issues. The ABC4EU project aims to address this by ensuring that passengers always have the same experience, irrespective of the company that has developed the system. Harmonised systems will also be easier to implement because border control authorities will not need to worry about any interconnection or compatibility problems.
ABC4EU will identify the requirements for a flexible, integrated and interoperable ABC system at EU level. In particular, harmonisation in areas such as ePassport management, biometrics, gate design, human interface, processes, signalling and interoperability. Studying ABC systems and other significant technology aiding border security processes will help to deal with increasing passenger flows, whilst maintaining security.
The ABC4EU consortium involves 15 partners from Spain, Ireland, Finland, Portugal, Germany, Romania and Estonia. The consortium, led by Indra, also includes Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Vision-Box, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Eticas Research & Consulting, CIES, Dermalog, Cognitec, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Università Degli Studi Di Milano, Safe ID, Cuerpo Nacional de Policía, Serviço de Estrangeiros E Fronteiras, Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, and the General Directorate on Communication and Information Technology (Romanian Ministry of Administration and Interior).