Six automated border control e-gates have opened at Brussels Airport for arriving EU passengers.
The ABC e-gates should allow arriving passengers at Brussels Airport to proceed through border control more swiftly.
At the moment, all passengers at Brussels Airport who travel to or arrive from a non-Schengen country, such as Morocco or the USA, have to go through border control. The police check whether their identity matches that on the identity papers and whether the travel documents they carry are authentic.
Now, this verification can also happen digitally for arriving EU-citizens at the six ABC e-gates in Pier B.
At a later stage the e-gates will also be installed for departing passengers.
How does it work?
Step 1: The passenger walks through the entrance gate and inserts their identity card or passport into the slot in the e-gate provided for this purpose.
There are two slits:
- European passports are inserted in the lower slot
- Belgian identity cards in the upper slot
This is because the two documents use different technology!
Step 2: The system checks three parameters:
- is the identity document authentic or forged?
- is the passenger wanted by the Belgian police?
- is the person at the ABC e-gate the same person as in the chip in the e-passport
If all three parameters are positive, the exit gates of the e-gate opens and the passenger can proceed to the baggage reclaim area.
A police official who supervises the e-gates can swiftly react if anything untoward occurs e.g. when the gates do not open.
As soon as the passenger leaves the e-gate the system checks whether any items were left behind so the passenger can be called back.
At the moment, only EU citizens are able to use the automated border control gates because non-EU citizens are subject to other entry conditions. The check of their identity documents will be carried out manually as before.
The ABC e-gates were launched in the presence of Interior and Security Minister Jan Jambon and State Secretary for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken.
Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport, said:
“Due to the e-gates the flow of passengers arriving from a non-Schengen country to the baggage reclaim area will be much smoother, both for the EU citizens who will use the e-gates as for the non-EU citizens whose identity will be checked manually as there will be fewer passengers using the traditional control posts”
The installation of the e-gates at Brussels Airport is a joint investment by the Federal Police and Brussels Airport with the financial support of the European External Borders Fund. This fund aims to financially support member states who manage and control the external borders of the EU.