Airport “e-gates” need replacing after less than 5 years

The so-called “e-gates”, the electronic gates that were installed at Zaventem Airport, near Brussels less than 5 years ago need replacing at a cost of 2.4 million euro. The idea behind the gates was to improve security at the airport. However, the police at Zaventem say that the gates have been more of a hindrance than a help since their installation.    

On 10 July 2015 the then Federal Interior Minister Jan Jambon and the then Federal Secretary of State responsible for asylum and migration Theo Francken officially opened the new e-gates at Zaventem.  

The e-gates would both improve security at the airport and make the work of the police working at Zaventem a bit easier. The gates automatically check your passport and your face and only open if your face is the same as the face on the passport photograph. The system cost 2.4 million euro and was paid for by the Federal Police and the airport.   

However, the system has been plagued by technical issues from the outset. The system broke down just two days after its launch. At the time the technical issues were put down to teething troubles.   

Now after just over four and a half years the Federal Police has invited tenders for the delivery and installation of a new security system “that should work more efficiently”. The new system will also be installed at Charleroi (sometimes known as Brussels South) Airport and at the Eurostar station Brussels South railway station.  

It is not yet know when the new e-gates will be installed of how much they will cost.