Thales awarded contract for France’s new Schengen Area system

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Thales, a provider of services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets headquartered in Paris, has been selected by the French Ministry of the Interior to deliver several hundred pre-registration kiosks at various border crossing points. 

This will permit the country to comply with the EU’s requirement for a biometric entry and exit system to register non-European citizens crossing an EU external border. The “state-of-the-art biometric solution” developed by Thales aims to streamline and secure France’s air, land and sea border crossings.

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In accordance with the directive approved by the European Union, the countries that are part of the Schengen Area must deploy pre-registration kiosks, or similar equipment, in order to allow non-Schengen visitors to register their identity quickly and securely, including their biometric data (ie fingerprint and facial biometrics).

To this end, the Thales Gemalto Border Kiosk will provide a “self-service, intuitive and interactive terminal” to guide travellers through every stage of identity registration and verification.

These kiosks, designed and manufactured in Europe, will incorporate various document verification and biometric technologies. They are said to offer rapid registration for travellers, highly accurate identity verification, data management protection and advanced operational fluidity at border crossings.

The verification of biometric data is an extremely effective and reliable technology, allowing Member States to accurately identify any attempted identity fraud and prevent individuals with false documents, multiple identities, and so on from entering the country.

Commenting on the contract win, Thales SVP of identity and biometric solutions Youzec Kurp said: “The pre-registration kiosks manufactured by Thales are equipped with our state-of-the-art technologies for identity creation and verification. They are based on software optimised for ultra-rapid checks of a document’s authenticity and intelligent detection of any attempted identity fraud. We have, therefore, been able to develop high-performance tools to support operations, without compromising the safety and protection of travellers’ data.” 

• In a recent article in Low-Cost & Regional Airline Business, industry expert Tony Chapman, senior director of product management and strategy at Collins Aerospace, talked about how biometrics can help airports prepare for the future.

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