Bulgaria is the latest country in a fast growing list to use automated border control eGates. Four egates from Gunnebo were introduced at Sofia Airport Terminal 2 on August 28 2012.
Processing through the egates takes less than a minute. They may be used by citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland who hold a passport with an electronic chip and are more than 18 years old.
The system scans the passenger’s ePassport before performing facial recognition and fingerprint comparisons.
Simultaneously, the equipment checks records related to the passport-holder in the Schengen Information System, and in national databases including in regard to outstanding arrest warrants.
To help pay for the systems, Bulgaria was provided with EU funds designated to protect “external borders”. In total it received BGN 476 795 (Euro244,000).
The Bulgarian Interior Ministry stressed that the implementation of the project is a demonstration of the country’s commitment to join the Schengen area.