Lithuanian airports have become among the first in Europe to complete preparations for a modern border screening system.

A new Entry - Exit System (EES) – to be launched at border posts this year – will require third-country citizens entering the European Union Schengen area to undergo an additional registration procedure before crossing the border. This will also require new infrastructure and space at border crossing points, and Lithuanian airports are among the first in Europe to have made the necessary changes.

“We have already carried out contractual works on the adaptation of the spaces in all Lithuanian airports, which will be much more convenient for passengers to pass border checks and will also include self-service terminals and information screens. We have also not only carefully planned the new areas where additional checks will be carried out, but also modelled the processes for passenger flow management and passenger convenience.

“Once the screening starts, third-country citizens will not only receive detailed information on the procedures to be followed but will also have the opportunity to perform most of the services completely independently in the self-service terminals,” explained Vidas Kšanas, director of Lithuanian Airports’ safety and security department.

The total cost of the upgrades at Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga airports came to around €3m (excluding VAT), the airport operator confirmed.

Lithuanian Airports closely coordinated the implementation of the new Entry - Exit System inspection procedure with specialists from the State Border Guard Service (SBGS), who will manage the system and carry out the inspections. Once the system is operational, third-country citizens should familiarise themselves with the Lithuanian registration system (ROBARS (Robotic Optoelectronic Biometric / Alphanumeric Registration System)) before travelling to the airport.

The Entry-Exit System registration and inspection procedure will collect and verify biometric and personal data on third-country citizens entering the EU for the first time. In addition to passport data, biometric data will be collected, including fingerprints and facial images.

Image: Lithuanian Airports