SITA and NEC join forces as European Union moves to automated gates at borders
27 May 2013 10:59 GMT

NEC and SITA join forces on automated border control

SITA, the air transport IT specialist, and NEC Europe (NEC), providers of biometric technology, have announced an agreement to jointly provide an automated border control (ABC) gate solution. It incorporates sophisticated biometrics technology for use at immigration control points at airports in the European Union (EU). The agreement comes as EU member states implement recommendations to move to self-service border control using ABC gates.

According to the companies, the speed (less than 10 seconds per processed passenger) and accuracy of the SITA/NEC automated border control gate will help speed up passenger flows at border control checkpoints while improving security and resource management. The system incorporates face recognition, and optionally fingerprint verification, against e-passport data.

Manual intervention by an immigration officer is only required in rare cases when a match is unsuccessful, the companies say. This frees up border security staff for other activities. In addition to the improved traveler experience, reduced waiting times can attract more airlines and increased revenue for the airport authority.

Dan Ebbinghaus, SITA Vice President, Government Solutions, said: "SITA has significant experience in dealing with the challenges facing border control authorities around the globe and automated border control (ABC) gates are recognized as a potential solution to the combined goals of improving the passenger journey and increasing border security.

A core element in this ABC solution is NEC's "NeoFace" face recognition algorithm which provides speed, accuracy and performance regardless of the database size and image quality. NEC face recognition technologies were ranked No. 1 in the MBE Still-Face Track in 2010 carried out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security.

SITA already provides sophisticated border management solutions to 15 countries including Indonesia where it provides a comprehensive biometrics system to manage that country's 18 million passenger movements.