Turkey’s Atatürk Airport has implemented a fingerprint-scanning eGate system, according to an article in the Daily Sabah. The system allows for frequent-flyer Turkish citizens to spend only fifteen seconds in the passport-screening process.
The Atatürk Airport is Turkey’s busiest, a major transit hub for connecting flights between the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe that saw 57 million travellers pass through its gates last year. In such a large and busy terminal, it would be a great benefit to make the screening process faster and more efficient, and that’s likely a major part of the reason the technology was installed; similar incentives have started to popularize such eGates in the United States and even in Britain, where it had previously been attempted but didn’t manage to take off at the time.
While convenience and efficiency is important, Turkey’s embrace of biometric screening might also be part of a trend that has seen European Union members and affiliates try to both enhance border security while allowing greater ease and access with respect to travel between EU countries, often through measures such as this and also biometric passports.
In any case, it’s an exciting development for travelers and for the organizations involved; Ahmed Fayed, the first traveler to use the new system having arrived from Madrid, was given flowers by airport officials when he checked in.
January 23, 2015 – by Alex Perala