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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: Automated border control

Automated border control gates aim to reduce queues and maintain security at the Netherlands’ busy international terminal


Ranked as Europe’s fourth largest airport, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol processes more than 50 million passengers a year and more than 130,000 tons of cargo per month. With an annual expected growth in passengers of approximately 5 percent, but no anticipated increases to its more than 400 border guards, airport executives were all too aware of the need to achieve speed and mobility while enhancing security and safety for travelers and trade.

Seeking a solution that provided self-service border control, Amsterdam’s Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Royal Military Police and the Schiphol Group approached Accenture to launch a trial automated border control system at Schiphol airport.

Interview with Kier-co Gerristen The head of the Dutch Border Management Program talks about the 36 eGates installed at Amsterdam Airport.


Increasing traffic volumes and concerns about passenger protection are not the only challenges for border management agencies worldwide. As with many international businesses, the economic downturn—with the potential for staff reductions—and growing technological demands have had an impact on airports’ operational efficiencies. Indeed, difficulties with implementing a chip in the passport as part of the authentication process and the ever-growing requirement for both national and European watch lists serve to make the border process more complex and time consuming.

“By introducing automated border control so that we can operate a self-service passport system, we can not only improve the traveler experience but also gain new efficiencies at the border,” says Kier-co Gerritsen, project manager, Self-Service Passport Control project, Dutch Ministry of the Interior, the Netherlands.


Accenture initiated the first phase of a Self-Service Passport Control project in August 2011 and recommended a staged implementation of border e-gates to automate the passport checking process.

The physical gates were supplied by Portugal-based Vision-Box, a company specializing in automated border control systems, and the software was developed through collaboration between Accenture and Vision-Box. Accenture was able to draw on our experiences of earlier projects using automated border control at two airports in the United Kingdom to provide a solution that was both swift to install and easy to manage.

Aside from overseeing the Self-Service Passport Control project, Accenture was also responsible for designing the animations to instruct travelers on how to use the gates. Within the first six weeks of the trial, more than 210,000 passengers have been through the e-gates. What is more, in the first weekend of their use, the gates were able to identify discrepancies in four travelers’ passports that resulted in exclusions from crossing the border.


Accenture has solid experience of delivering coordinated border management and identity services. Our approach to border management is intelligence-led, requiring a complete view of risks and opportunities, a knowledge-sharing culture and a strategy built on proactive decision making.

Having already completed successful automated border control projects in the United Kingdom, the Ministry of Interior and the Amsterdam airport were able to benefit from the skills and experience of the Accenture team and to achieve an end-to-end border management solution.

“Accenture has successfully demonstrated experience and insight, not only in border management and control, but also in the local Netherlands market,” says Richard Camman, Border and Identity Management for Europe, Africa and Latin America, Accenture. “By combining our know-how with the latest technologies, Accenture is helping to not only innovate border management processes but also prepare the airport for high performance in the future.”