RAPID – The new service for e-passport

With the Project RAPID (Automatic Identification of Passengers Holding Travelling Documents) a worldwide innovating system that allows an automatic control of passengers in possession of electronic passports, thus eliminating the need for human action was developed. This system combines the operations of reading and checking electronic passports with an innovating feature for assessing biometric data which operates an automatic gate opening device. This device checks on a first phase the genuineness of electronic passports and validates all data stored in the chip and, on a second phase, appraises the passenger’s identification by establishing a comparison between the photo stored in the chip and the information of the passenger in loco, automatically opening the border gate when the features of both images are coincident. RAPID was made secure by an intelligent system that allows the entry of one single passenger each time and automatically adjusts the reading camera to his / her height. This innovating system will permit a highly rationalized management and a significant boost to the efficiency of means at border control. By reducing the process of border crossing to an average of less than 20 seconds it will speed up the movement of passengers at border control significantly. After May 25, Faro Airport will be equipped with ten of these units, which will be evaluated by a group of experts / researchers of Algarve University up to the end of June.