Travellers holding biometric or electronic EU passports can now pass through the automated passport control gates, which are being tested at Geneva airport’s Arrivals terminal.
The automated entry is also available to citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
The passenger would place the passport on the special “reader” and enter an area where a camera performs facial recognition. The automated system scans national and international database to ensure that the traveller has no criminal background. If an anomaly is detected, a border guard will intercept the passenger.
If everything is in order, the gate opens. The entire process takes between 10 and 12 seconds.
“The main objective of this project is to save travellers' time while maintaining a high level of security”, said airport operations expert Jacques Morgenegg.
The system, already operational at the Zurich airport and in several European countries, will be in use for a year. After this time, 13 automated gates (eight in Arrivals and five in Departures) will be installed in the East Wing, which is currently under construction. It will be used for non-Schengen and long-haul intercontinental flights.