Public Release: 

EU border control is becoming harmonized and automated

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Security risks and efficiency pressures at the EU's external borders are being highlighted as the number of passengers rises. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and its partners have developed a set of best practices for automated border control as part of the international FastPass project. Automation will bring security, speed, cost-effectiveness and reliability to border control.

Passenger self-service at border control is a growing trend at Europe's external frontiers. Harmonised solutions will provide faster border checks and shorter waiting times for passengers. At the same time, security and cost-effectiveness will be promoted as equipment and usability are harmonised at EU level.

In cooperation with European partners, VTT has developed a set of best practices for the development and introduction of next-generation automated border control systems.

The automated border control systems developed through the project will serve as a general model for future Automated Border Control solutions around the world. They will also provide a model for the technical and operational integration and compatibility of future systems. The solutions are ethically sustainable and respect privacy. They will enhance the management of security risks at the EU's external borders and increase the authorities' capacity to handle growing passenger flows.

"During the project, we evaluated the risks and vulnerabilities in relation to automated border control systems to identify individuals. We have developed border control processes that have been successfully tested and evaluated in various operating environments at airports, on cruise ships, and for passenger cars at land borders. We developed alert systems based on intelligent data-processing," says Sirra Toivonen, who is in charge of the project at VTT.

"FastPass provided a great opportunity to develop of our fingerprint recognition technology in cooperation with VTT's world-class experts and other companies. Through the project, we obtained confirmation that our expertise and experience are among the best in the world," says Jukka Hosio, CEO of Deltabit Oy.

"The project has enabled the development of new features in our control software, improving our ability to respond rapidly to emerging customer needs. We do not believe that these advances would have occurred without extensive international collaboration via FastPass," says Petri Bäckström, CEO of Mirasys Oy.

However, self-service machines have yet to become established; passengers, in particular, are still learning about and getting use to them. If more people pass efficiently through automatic border control systems, staff can focus more effectively on passengers who require closer control.

The innovative operational models developed were field tested and evaluated at border-crossing points including an Austrian airport, a Greek port and a land border in Romania.

The total budget of the project was EUR 15.5 million Europe, with EU funding accounting for EUR 11.3 million. The project ended in 2017 and was coordinated by AIT from Austria.

In addition to VTT, participants included the Border and Coast Guard Academy, Finavia Corporation, Mirasys Oy, Deltabit Oy and the University of Tampere. As well as Finland, the group of 27 partners includes participants from Austria, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Poland, Greece and Latvia.


Publication: Recommendations for future ABC installations, Best practices

Further information on the Fastpass project:

More information:

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Sirra Toivonen, Senior Scientist
+358 40 729 1744,

Further information on VTT:

Milka Lahnalammi-Vesivalo
Communications Manager
+358 40 5457 828

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is the leading research and technology company in the Nordic countries. We use our research and knowledge to provide expert services for our domestic and international customers and partners, and for both private and public sectors. We use 4,000,000 hours of brainpower a year to develop new technological solutions. VTT in social media: Twitter @VTTFinland, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.