Innovative Travel Solutions (ITS) by Vancouver International Airport is trialling four BorderXpress kiosks at Keflavik International Airport (KEF) in Iceland. The kiosks are part of a six-month pilot to simulate the impending requirements of the Entry/Exit System (EES) of the Schengen Area, which comprises 26 European states that have officially abolished all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders.
The pilot brings ITS’s expertise in kiosk design and experience as an airport operator to Europe, together with its end-to-end border control solution, BorderXpress, and is the first automated kiosk-based border control solution in a Schengen member state.
“We recognize the complexity and challenges that many Schengen member states face with the implementation of new regulation for entry and exit border control. Kiosk-based solutions, like BorderXpress, have a critical role to play in helping Schengen member states effectively fulfil the new security and data collection requirements outlined by the European Commission, while also keeping pace with increasing demand for air travel,” said Craig Richmond, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority.
“Isavia and the Icelandic Police have shown tremendous leadership in preparing for the new regulations and recognizing the importance of future-proofing their airport with a customizable and adaptable solution like BorderXpress.”
The EES is a part of the Smart Border package introduced by the European Commission. It will be fully operational in all the Schengen countries by the end of 2021. The main purpose of the EES is to register data on entry, exit and refusal of entry of third country nationals crossing the external borders of all Schengen member states through a central system.
“As an airport operator ourselves, we have a unique understanding of the challenges airports in Europe are facing. Our demonstrated success as a trusted partner in over 43 airport and seaport locations globally ensures that we are positioned to guide airports and governments as they prepare for EES,” commented Chris Gilliland, director, Innovative Travel Solutions. “We are confident that our pilot program with Isavia at Keflavik Airport will further demonstrate the adaptability and effectiveness of BorderXpress, making a meaningful impact on travelers, border control authorities and the airport, alike.”
Isavia operates all airports in Iceland, including KEF, which is the largest border crossing point in the country with more than 95% of the passengers entering the Schengen area through Iceland coming through this airport. The BorderXpress kiosks are available for Third Country Nationals (TCN) and EU citizens to use when entering Iceland. The kiosks have been customized to meet specific requirements of the Icelandic police.
“We at Isavia are always looking for ways to enhance and improve self-service automation for our passengers,” said Gudmundur Dadi Runarsson, technical and infrastructure director at Keflavik Airport.
“By running a pilot for this new and innovative solution we want to gather information and prepare ourselves to make the process easier for everyone when the new regulations are implemented. These new kiosks will help to speed up the process for passengers, improve their experience and ensure an enjoyable journey through Keflavik Airport and will provide important information for the development and operation of our new border facility expected to come into use in 2022.”