The cybersecurity company secunet is making the border controls at Switzerland’s Zurich Airport fit for the upcoming European Entry/Exit System (EES) to register both short-stay visa holders and visa exempt travellers from third-countries. This involves equipping Switzerland’s busiest international airport with EES-compliant border control technology. The current project is based on a framework agreement between secunet and the Zurich Cantonal Police, which was concluded in 2021. The contract is worth a mid-double-digit million amount in Swiss francs and will run for several years.
As part of the European Union’s Smart Borders Initiative, Third Country Nationals will in future be required to register with a facial image and four fingerprints at land, sea and air borders in the Schengen area. The data will be stored in the central EES. This will make it easier to detect when Third Country Nationals exceed the permitted duration of stay. It will also prevent illegal entries into the Schengen area. However, registration at the borders will also lead to increased effort. When international air traffic returns to normal, there is therefore a risk of long waiting times at border control counters. However, infrastructures that are optimally adapted to the EES help save time and counteract this effect.
At Zurich Airport, secunet is currently implementing an EES-compliant border control application and is also supplying a central server component, secunet easyserver, which connects the various border control components and will communicate directly with the EU’s central EES. In the future, the infrastructure will be further optimized with EES-compliant components, such as ABC systems for automated border control and self-service kiosks for biometric pre-enrolment.
secunet is implementing the project with local partners who already have a long-standing and cooperative relationship with Swiss authorities. There has already been successful cooperation between the Zurich Cantonal Police and secunet for many years, namely in the area of stationary border control at Zurich Airport.
Besides Switzerland, many other European states already rely on border control technology from secunet, which will help them with the changeover to the EES, among other things. These include Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. secunet not only implements technology, but also advises European states with regard to the EES – for example, how passenger processes should be set up in the future, how biometric recording can succeed in compliance with requirements and how infrastructures can be implemented in the most sustainable way possible.