Dublin Airport to expand airport gate scheme

16 September 2014 (Last Updated September 16th, 2014 18:30)

Ireland's Dublin Airport is engaged in discussions with justice chiefs to expand automated e-gate passport and border controls.

Ireland's Dublin Airport is engaged in discussions with justice chiefs to expand automated e-gate passport and border controls.

A total of 125 gardai (Irish policemen) from the immigration booths at the airport have already been moved to frontline duties, with their place being taken on by uniformed civilians. More civilian officers are expected to be shifted to major ports next year.

The airport has installed about four e-gates in Terminal 1 since May 2013.

Justice minister Frances Fitzgerald has said that the department of justice is in talks with the airport authorities to increase the use of these entry points.

"Border technology is one of the key ways to achieve that objective."

The Belfast Telegraph quoted Fitzgerald as saying: "While we must remain vigilant in preventing individuals entering our country who have no right to be here, we must also make every effort to the make the entry experience as smooth as possible for genuine travellers who constitute the vast majority of people travelling through our air and sea ports."

"Border technology is one of the key ways to achieve that objective."

The airport is also setting up a 24/7 civilian operation in Terminal 1, which is expected to be completed by mid-2015. The construction of Terminal 2 is expected to be completed by December 2015.

A comprehensive business case is being prepared by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) for the expansion of the e-Gates initiative at the Dublin Airport.

Officials are also in talks to expand the advance passenger information systems at the airport.

Civilians who will operate the passport control booths in airports and ports will be officers of INIS in the Irish Department of Justice. These officers will need to inspect passports and allow people to enter Ireland while gardai will take up policing functions in the immigration area.