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Saturday 24 March 2018

Delays and long queues continue at Dublin Airport immigration months after eGate roll out

The new immigration control system at Dublin Airport was rolled out in late November
The new immigration control system at Dublin Airport was rolled out in late November

Robin Schiller

Technical challenges are still leading to delays and long queues at immigration control in Dublin Airport more than two months after eGates were rolled out.

The new passport-reading machines were introduced on November 30, with 15 active so far.

Five further eGates are set to be introduced this month in order to enhance security and speed up passage through the immigration process.

However, passengers travelling through the passport controls in Dublin Airport have complained about persisting delays with the machines three months on from their introduction.

One person who passed through immigration control at Terminal 1 last week said: "There are still long queues, there were complaints in December about the length of time it takes to get through and it's still happening.

"One woman tried to use her passport in the eGate but it wouldn't read document, it happened several times," they told the Irish Independent.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said "technical challenges" were ongoing but they are actively working on dealing with the issue.

"The Dublin Airport deployed eGates can technically process an Irish passport card but some further testing and passenger information displays are necessary to facilitate full live usage by passengers of passport cards.

"There are a number of technical challenges to processing a contactless card, including the fact that data must be read from each side of a card and the fact that a passenger could insert a card in a variety of ways," the spokesman said.

"The provider is actively working on some test scenarios and user displays to aid ease of usage and to roll out these enhancements as early as possible in 2018.

"The deployment of a document feeder as an integral part of Dublin's eGates was with the passport card in mind and its use in eGates remains a focus for the immigration service."

The gates provide automated passport and security checks "by using advanced facial recognition technology and integration with national and international watch lists", according to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, which operates border controls at the airport.

Their introduction follows a trial period that ended last April.

Irish Independent

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