During the last years, many ABC Gates have been deployed in the main European airports, most of them as pilot projects intended to test their capability to improve the border crossing processes in aspects such as speed, security, automation, false rejection reduction, etc.
Experience gained from these pilots has been periodically assessed within the Frontex ABC Workshops, where the need for a harmonised approach has been specifically addressed as one of the most urgent issues to be solved. In particular, harmonisation would be required in areas as e-passports management, biometrics, gate design, human interface, processes, PKD certificate exchange, signalling and interoperability.
On the other hand, EU Smart Border Initiative adds a new approach to be considered in ABC development: The inclusion of a RTP system for Third Country Nationals and an Entry Exit System.
ABC4EU will identify the requirements for an integrated, interoperable and citizen’s rights respectful ABC system at EU level, taking account of the experience gained from the previous pilots, projects and the future needs derived from the Smart Border and other EU and national initiatives and paying very special attention to citizen rights, privacy and other related ethical aspects.
ABC4EU will focus in the need for harmonisation in the design and operational features of ABC Gates, considering specially the full exploitation of the EU second generation passports and other accepted travel documents. In addition, RTP and EES will be specifically tested in the project to assess their feasibility and an EU level border management C4I concept will be developed for end user assessment.
ABC4EU intends to carry out a 2 steps system validation: Upgraded ABC systems in several MS covering all types of borders (airports, harbours and land borders) will be integrated with RTP and EES prototypes. Lessons learnt from this first step will be applied for a second and final testing.