SITA and NEC join forces as European Union moves to automated gates at borders
SITA, the air transport IT specialist, and NEC Europe (NEC), leaders in biometric technology, today announced an agreement to jointly provide an automated border control (ABC) gate solution. It incorporates sophisticated biometrics technology for use at immigration control points at airports in the European Union (EU). The agreement comes as EU member states implement recommendations to move to self-service border control using ABC gates.
The speed and accuracy of this SITA/NEC automated border control gate helps speed up passenger flows at border control checkpoints while improving security and resource management. It incorporates face recognition, and optionally fingerprint verification, against e-passport data. Passengers can be processed through the SITA/NEC ABC gate in just 10 seconds or less.
It is less resource intensive as it only requires manual intervention by an immigration officer in rare cases when a match is unsuccessful. This frees up border security staff for other activities. In addition to the improved traveler experience, reduced waiting times can attract more airlines and increased revenue for the airport authority.
Dan Ebbinghaus, SITA Vice President, Government Solutions, said: "SITA has significant experience in dealing with the challenges facing border control authorities around the globe and automated border control (ABC) gates are recognized as a potential solution to the combined goals of improving the passenger journey and increasing border security.
"Working with NEC, our ABC gates combine SITA's air transport industry experience and market knowledge with the fastest and most accurate face recognition software in the market. This combination will provide significant benefits to border control and airport authorities."
A core element in this ABC solution is NEC's unsurpassed "NeoFace" face recognition algorithm which provides speed, accuracy and performance regardless of the database size and image quality. NEC face recognition technologies were ranked No. 1 in the MBE Still-Face Track in 2010 carried out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security.
Chris de Silva, Vice President IT Solutions, NEC, said: "NEC has a long history in innovation and with NeoFace we have extremely fast and accurate face recognition software, ideal for security applications. We have incorporated our software in a variety of security-based applications, but by integrating it into this new ABC gate, we believe it will significantly improve the efficiency of processing people through control checkpoints.
"SITA has a wealth of experience as an IT integrator in the air transport industry and we are well-placed with our combined expertise to deliver a market-leading ABC solution across Europe."
Nearly every airline and airport in the world does business with SITA and it has deep experience and understanding of the unique requirements of integrating the border control across air transport systems. SITA already provides sophisticated border management solutions to 15 countries including Indonesia where it provides a comprehensive biometrics system to manage that country's 18 million passenger movements.
NEC offers a comprehensive set of integrated security solutions including multi-biometric identification, access gates, video surveillance and behavior pattern analysis, that are utilized by over 350 organizations in more than 30 countries worldwide. NEC’s fingerprint and facial recognition solutions are recognized as the world's fastest and most accurate biometric technologies for identification.