17 August 2015Spain
  • The systems verify passenger identification, ensuring that all passport documentation belongs to the holder by evaluating facial attributes and fingerprints
  • The Secretariat of State for Security's plans included deploying 124 systems at major international airports and, for the first time ever, at a port terminal
  • The first systems were implemented in 2010 in partnership with the Spanish police force and Secretariat of State for Security. Deployment has now been extended

Over the first six months of 2015 Indra successfully deployed ABC (Automatic Border Control) biometric systems at five Spanish airports and the Port of Algeciras. These systems make for faster processing of all adult citizens of the European Economic Area returning to the same from non-member states.

Specifically the company has deployed a total of 124 ABC systems at the airports of Madrid, Barcelona, Girona, Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, South Tenerife and Malaga, with the latter being operational since 2014.

The system has also been introduced for the first time at a port, in this case the Algeciras Maritime Station, which is used by travelers from all over Europe crossing to Africa. The system here also records passengers entering and leaving the European Economic Area, also known as the Schengen area.

Deployment of these systems comes after Indra and the Spanish police force, under the technical direction of the Secretariat of State for Security via the General Information Systems and Security Communications Sub-Division, subjected the technology to trials at the Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas Airport and Barcelona-El Prat Airport, with excellent results. The systems have been operational at both airports since 2010 as part of a pioneering pilot initiative in Europe, which was subsequently extended to Malaga Airport.

The ABC system is comprised of a kiosk where passengers show their digital passport or other electronic ID. Each post features a digital fingerprint sensor and facial recognition cameras. The system uses biometric information included in digital passports, while also verifying the authenticity of the same and checking police databases. The entire process takes just a few seconds, after which the traveler can continue to the border gate.

The project is part of the Smart Borders program, co-funded by the EU, which aims to integrate air, sea and land borders.

The company is also working on the next generation of automated border control systems. Indra is leading the European ABC4EU project, financed by the European Union as part of the 7th Framework Program, which includes 15 partners (industry, research centers, SMEs and end users).

The project, which will run until June 2017, aims to reconcile management of ABC systems on the continent. Thus, passengers should notice no differences in the border experience regardless of the country they happen to be in or the company that deployed the system. It is also designed to be operable by all users, whether they belong to a Schengen member state or not.

ABC systems represent an efficient solution for processing the growing number of passengers using airports the world over, making for tighter security and a more convenient experience for passengers.


Indra, under the guidance of Chairman & CEO Fernando Abril-Martorell, is Spain's leading consulting and technology multinational and one of the most prominent in Europe and Latin America. The company provides business solutions, IT services and comprehensive systems to clients all over the world. Indra has a standout business model based on proprietary solutions (representing close to 65% of 2014 revenue), that serves leading clients in numerous countries. In 2014 it posted revenue of 2.938 billion euros (close to 60% of revenue is international) and had 39,000 employees, a local presence in 46 countries and projects in 149 countries. The company groups its solutions and services into the vertical markets of Energy and Industry, Financial Services, Telecom & Media, Public Administration & Healthcare, Transport & Traffic and Security & Defense.