Border Control: Lisbon International Airport Opens 24 New Biometric eGates

November 7, 2013 – by Peter B. Counter

Nobody looks forward to airport security, no matter where in the world the hour-long line at an inconvenient time might eventually be taking them. It is an unpleasant experience by necessity: keeping dangerous people and materials out of the sky is and in the countries where they are grounded requires thorough processes be taken, and those processes are largely humorless (just try asking a customs officer to repeat themselves next time you try to fly). Lucky for the frequent fliers of the world we are coming closer and closer to a near frictionless border security experience, and Portugal is at the head of the march toward a more comfortable and secure pre-flight experience.

Vision-Box S.A. announced today that it has deployed 24 automated eGates that feature facial recognition technology in Lisbon International Airport’s new arrivals and departures terminal. The vb i-match 5 eGate operates through a dual factor authentication process, starting with travel document (ePassport, Portuguese National Citizen Card, etc.) verification prior to gate entry, and face scanning once the threshold is initially crossed.

This deployment is part of the Portuguese Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates project that was started in 2007. With the vb i-match 5 offering not only face recognition but also iris and fingerprint biometric capabilities, it is the first access control unit in the ABC project to support validation of all types of travel documents.

“The new ABC eGates will allow us to optimize and streamline the border crossing process while maintaining the same level of security and border integrity,” said Manuel Palos, National Director of the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF).

The automated solutions being offered in Portugal thanks to the ABC eGates project are an excellent example of biometrics reducing friction without compromising security. A multifactor border control system based on secure documents and biometrics will be attractive to parties on both sides of the equation: travelers can expect easier airport security while governments can be assured that security is not being compromised for the sake of making passengers comfortable.