WAA launches Vision-Box ABC GT-11 eGates for NEXUS travellers

Posted on 17 September, 2020 by Advance 

Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) has contracted Vision-Box to deploy six of its new generation Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates with biometric facial clearance for travellers enrolled in the NEXUS Programme at Winnipeg International Airport.

Image courtesy Vision-Box

Beginning 1st September 2020, six Vision-Box Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates will greet arriving travellers enrolled in the NEXUS Programme at Winnipeg International Airport. As the only international airport in the Province of Manitoba, Winnipeg is an important travel hub for the region, having served close to 5 million aviation passengers in 2019.

NEXUS is a trusted traveller programme operated by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that expedites border crossings for pre-approved and enrolled Canadian, American and Mexican citizens. Travellers enrolled in the NEXUS programme avoid border entry lines by using specially reserved lanes equipped with identity screening platforms for expedited checks when entering the country from anywhere in the world.

The ABC eGates will facilitate and speed up the border clearance of arriving NEXUS enrolled passengers from all international locations using safe and secure automated biometric facial matching.

“Finding better ways to serve the needs of travellers is paramount for Winnipeg Airports Authority,” said Barry Rempel, WAA President and CEO. “Adding Vison Box eGates for NEXUS users at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport not only enhances the customer experience but sets the foundation for future innovation and brings us one step closer to seamless, touchless passenger travel”, he added.

This is the first time that ABC Biometric eGates are being deployed to process NEXUS enrolled travellers instead of the regularly used NEXUS kiosks. It is also the first NEXUS touchless solution that will improve the border clearance process and gives NEXUS travellers a unique convenience at the airport. The deployed GT-11 eGates are part of Vision-Box’s newest generation digital identity systems and will use the latest advances in biometric technology to securely and efficiently clear travellers using digital facial matching. The GT-11 eGates offer a smaller footprint than the previous NEXUS kiosks and are part of a modernising process for a seamless travel journey from curb to boarding at Winnipeg International Airport.

This may also be the first time that a complete remote installation of border digital identity software has been successfully attempted and completed. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that quickly spread across the globe, work at Winnipeg Airport had to be stopped in February 2020 with only the physical installation of the eGates completed. Logical setup of the software and system testing prior to going live was then completed entirely from Vision-Box Lisbon headquarters in close collaboration with CBSA using a dedicated secure connection. By remotely installing a border processing system, Vision-Box proved the feasibility and security of a remote installation process that could lead to far-reaching industry changes and cost-saving measures.

“The ability to go live with a remote orchestrated installation is a major accomplishment,” said Miguel Leitmann, Vision-Box’s CEO. “Our team, along with CBSA and members of the Winnipeg Airport Authority worked tirelessly across time zones, with frequent and intense communication, to make this happen. I couldn’t be prouder of this accomplishment and I congratulate all the agencies and people involved in making this project a reality”, added Miguel. 

Vision-Box’s Orchestra Digital Identity Management Platform will manage the Nexus border clearance and crossing process. Orchestra manages in real-time the necessary parameters of traveller identification at the crossing point. After the traveller scans their NEXUS member card, a photo is taken of the traveller’s face and a secure identification match is made against the biometric facial information in the traveller’s NEXUS membership profile. This system gives CBSA and Winnipeg International Airport added flexibility with faster dedicated lanes that simplifies the airport border clearance process along the way.