The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, today (10 May) announced that the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of his Department has started six month trials of automated border control gates (e-gates) at Terminal One, Dublin Airport.  This is the first time that e-gates have been used in Ireland for immigration purposes.

During the trial period, the operation of these gates will mean that certain passport holders (Irish, EU, EEA and Swiss passengers over 18 years of age) will not be required to present themselves to an Immigration Officer; instead they will have the picture on their passport verified electronically.  This is to ensure that the person using the passport is the person to whom it was issued.

The trial is being run in cooperation with the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and is supported by automated border gate technology provided at no cost to the State by two separate border management solutions companies, SITA and Accenture.

Welcoming the initiative Minister Shatter said, "Border control arrangements at Dublin Airport are currently undergoing major change.  Civilian immigration officers are replacing Gardaí with the aim of freeing up Garda resources for other policing duties, immigration control processes are being reviewed and leading-edge border technology such as automated gates is being tested.

Minister Shatter continued "Many major European airports are adopting a similar trend towards the deployment of automated gates for immigration control functions to enhance passengers’ experience on arrival at airports while also strengthening border security.  The trial period will test the suitability of e-gates for use at Dublin airport with a view to providing a more secure and efficient means for clearing passengers through immigration control.  I look forward to receiving recommendations on the future use of such technology on conclusion of the trials."

Located at Pier A/D in Terminal One which facilitates the entry of 4.4 million passengers to the State every year, the e-gates offer certain categories of arriving passengers a ‘self-service’ channel to clear immigration control rather than the conventional process of presenting at a manned immigration booth.  In time it is hope that this will also speed up the entry clearance process for all tourists and travellers. E-gates will also help strengthen border security as the technology will allow for the early interception of false documents and illegal entry into the State.

The e-gates are being operated under the supervision of immigration officers of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service deployed at the airport as part of the civilianisation programme to transfer certain immigration control functions from An Garda Síochána.

10 May, 2013


Note to Editors:
SITA provides border management solutions and employs around 4,500 persons globally, including over 100 at its software development centre in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Almost every airline and airport in the world is a SITA customer, including more than 1,400 in Europe.  SITA manages more than 600 self-service gates, processing thousands of passengers everyday at multiple airports, mainly across Europe.  The automated border control gates being trialled at Dublin Airport were developed, and are supported, by SITA's software development centre in Letterkenny.
Accenture is a management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company which also provides automated border clearance solutions working with border management agencies and airport authorities across the world.  Accenture employs approximately 261,000 worldwide, including over 1,200 in Ireland.  In Europe, Accenture has provided automated border clearance solutions at airports such as Heathrow and Schiphol, and built the Biometric Matching Systems which supports the EU Schengen Area’s visa programme.