Irish innovation transforms Indonesian borders

31 Mar 2010

A new biometric system for border control developed in Letterkenny is to be deployed in Indonesia by the Directorate General of Immigration at the Department of Law and Human Rights in Indonesia, locally known as Imigrasi.

SITA, the global air transport IT specialist, with a software development centre in Letterkenny developed the new biometric system for border control.

The Imigrasi solution uses components of the new iBorders BioThenticate product suite which is being developed in Letterkenny. This biometric research and development by SITA is partially funded by the IDA.

SITA’s system will significantly improve Indonesia’s control of its borders through additional checking of watch lists, verification of passports, visas and permits, and integration of visa issue.

Most importantly, the capture of biometrics from travellers, specifically facial images and fingerprints, will now give the added security that the person at the border is the one who has been checked against all the databases.

“This new primary line clearance system from SITA significantly raises the level of security at Indonesia’s international borders,” said Erwin Azis, director of Immigration Information Systems, Imigrasi.

“The use of biometrics adds an extra element to the identification and verification of arrivals. We can now be confident that people match passports.”

The first airport, Adisucipto International Airport serving Yogyakarta in Java, has just gone live with the system and the remaining ports will be up and running by June.

When the roll out is complete, more than 300 workstations across 27 air and sea ports will be live and will process the vast majority of Indonesia’s approximately 20 million passenger movements across its international borders.

SITA’s new platform, iBorders BioThenticate, is designed specifically for the airport environment.

It seamlessly integrates biometric identity management into all aspects of passenger processing with the result that a passenger using a single biometric credential, such as a smartcard or ePassport, can check in, pass through security, pass through immigration, and board the aircraft, verifying their identity at each step of the journey.

Indonesia is one of a growing number of countries that use SITA’s advanced border management solutions, which are supported by SITA’s team in Letterkenny. These include Australia, Bahrain, Canada, India, Kuwait, Mongolia, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and the US.

“Letterkenny has been chosen as the location of SITA’s biometrics team and with the support of the IDA we are investing in research to expand our portfolio,” explained Maurice Maher, SITA director, Software Development, Ireland.

“Indonesia is the first of, what we hope, will be many countries that will have biometric border systems developed and supported from here.”

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years