Travelers Want Uninterrupted Border Processes
In 2021, a study from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed that travelers are willing to share biometric data to speed up border processes. They want to spend as little time as possible in the airport queue, which should be made possible by technological development. Airlines and airports are preparing to reintroduce international travel following the pandemic and are looking for practical approaches.
ETIAS Uses Passenger Data for Faster Processing.
Most people are willing to share personal information with the government to improve their travel experience. According to a GPS study from 2021, 76% of passengers are would agree to provide biometric data to speed up border processes. The online ETIAS application will help reach this goal. While biometrics are involved in new entry/exit processes, ETIAS does not collect biometric data (such as fingerprints).
Traveler Screening Before Departure
ETIAS applicants will provide personal details, passport data, health, and security information. Passengers will be pre-checked before departure to reduce data processing time at the airport, as arriving passengers will already have a prior permit, ETIAS, or visa. A passport scan will confirm that he/she is permitted to enter Schengen. ETIAS does not guarantee entry in Europe; border authorities may prevent travelers from entering Europe.
Biometrics, entry/exit system, and ETIAS
The entry/exit system (EES), in conjunction with ETIAS, will reduce passport control time at the external Schengen borders. It uses biometric passport data to automatically calculate the time a visitor is permitted to stay in the Schengen Area and determine if he/she has stayed too long. Passengers scan their biometric passport photo page and view the screen, which compares their facial image to the biometric information stored in the passport. The gates will open automatically after the passport holder is approved for travel, making this process faster than manual processing.
Protecting personal data is a priority for both passengers and for Europe. Travelers are willing to share more information for an improved trip, but they want know how their data is stored and used. The ETIAS Central Unit provides secure data processing. Encryption is used to protect against unauthorized access to data, and the system will store personal information for up to 5 years after the expiration or denial of ETIAS.
From the launch of the ETIAS online application, visitor security will be created before arriving at the Schengen border, which, as mentioned earlier, will reduce airport wait times. Travelers will complete the registration process a few days before departure to reduce the duration of the security check.
Covid-19 and Passenger Health Screening
Due to the pandemic and the need to check vaccination certificates, data processing time at airports has increased. Despite fewer departures, there are still delays.
And Yet, Why ETIAS?
By the end of 2023, U.S. citizens wishing to travel to Europe will enjoy the following benefits:
- Easy online registration,
- Less time waiting in line,
- Improved health screening, and
- Improved border processes.
ETIAS is an enhanced experience for travelers from many countries planning to enter the Schengen Area.