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31.05.2018

Alterations to passport control hall: more capacity and automated passport control gates at departure

The alternations in the passport control hall were completed successfully at the end of May. The result is more space for passengers and additional border check desks. At the same time, automated passport control at departure will be introduced in collaboration with the Zurich cantonal police.

Due to constantly increasing passenger numbers, the passport control hall at Zurich Airport is reaching the limits of its capacity at peak times. The airport operator has therefore renovated the passport control hall and created additional space for checkpoints and passengers. The renovation of the passport control hall took place in close collaboration with the Zurich cantonal police, who are responsible for the border control process.

In addition to expanding the capacity of the passport control hall to include six more staffed desks for local departures, the aim is to modernise the border control process. Eight automated gates have been in operation for local immigration since September 2017. Experience has been positive, and the pilot phase was successfully concluded. Today, an additional five automated gates came on stream for local departures. This is intended to make travel more efficient for passengers.

With automated passport control, passengers can pass through the Schengen border on their own, as biometric data in their passport are used. The automated passport control at Zurich Airport is voluntary for passengers and can be used by persons aged 18 or over with a biometric passport who are Swiss, EU or EEA citizens. No personal data are stored. The staffed passport counters can still be used with no restrictions.

The total cost of expanding the passport control hall and installing the additional desks and gates amounts to around eight million Swiss francs. This cost will be borne jointly by the airport operator, the canton of Zurich and the European Internal Security Fund (ISF).

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