At the end of October, Acuity Market Intelligence reported that automated border control kiosks were expanding across North America and the Caribbean with a total of 25 airports now offering the service. The analyst reports that global market for kiosks will reach 8,000 by 2018. It isn’t just the Americas that are turning to automation, e-gates and kiosks are being used and deployed worldwide, including Australia,Singapore, Germany and the UK.
Why is automation proving so popular? Simply put, the technology is mature enough and radically improves border efficiency and throughput. Acuity Market Intelligence estimates that the kiosks in the US have “decreased international arrival and preclearance border control wait times by as much as 80%.”
Increasing passenger numbers mean that border agencies need to take action. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that international passenger numbers will grow by a quarter from 1.2 billion in 2012 to 1.5 billion in 2017. Existing manual border controls already struggle to process today’s volume of passengers and future increases threaten to stress already overloaded processes and systems to breaking point.
The challenge for the border security agency is to identify everybody who is not authorized to enter the country among the millions of legitimate travelers. Border agencies need intelligence to identify these high risk travelers efficiently, accurately and without disrupting the immigration experience for the majority.