ADP (Paris Airport management) invests in faster border controls

Old Nov 18, 16, 3:43 am
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ADP (Paris Airport management) invests in faster border controls

News in the French press yesterday article here, sorry, in French only

In a nutshell
  • Number of people waiting more than 30 minutes has increased by 20% since beginning of the year
  • Reasons are (i) stricter controls (ii) under-staffing
  • ADP will now pay itself for more and more modern biometric automated border control machines, working like the ones in the UK, i.e. face recognition rather than finger prints, whereby people do not have to register before and accessible to all EU/EEA/CH citizens. (so the Rosbifs will have to stand in line very soon )
  • Current method of asking people to register before has led to low pickup rates
  • Still waiting for approval from French authorities. In case they don't approve the face recognition methodology, the machines will also be able to work with the current, i.e. register your fingerprint, method

To be frank, if the current automated border portals worked that already would be real progress. But they often don't.
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Old Nov 18, 16, 4:56 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
News in the French press yesterday article here, sorry, in French only

In a nutshell
  • Number of people waiting more than 30 minutes has increased by 20% since beginning of the year
  • Reasons are (i) stricter controls (ii) under-staffing
  • ADP will now pay itself for more and more modern biometric automated border control machines, working like the ones in the UK, i.e. face recognition rather than finger prints, whereby people do not have to register before and accessible to all EU/EEA/CH citizens. (so the Rosbifs will have to stand in line very soon )
  • Current method of asking people to register before has led to low pickup rates
  • Still waiting for approval from French authorities. In case they don't approve the face recognition methodology, the machines will also be able to work with the current, i.e. register your fingerprint, method

To be frank, if the current automated border portals worked that already would be real progress. But they often don't.
Indeed, the current machines are a shame. They are often out of order and sometimes don't work with long lines forming behind them. I might be wrong but I remember them being acclaimed as "new" technology developed by a wonderful French company. And it took years to work badly. In theory, any French with biometric passport (most) can use them, but there are so few of them operational... I compare to Hong Kong where there are so many of those and they work well and fast.
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Old Nov 18, 16, 5:11 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
(ii) under-staffing
That one... I don't think I've ever seen more than 3 or 4 desks open at any transfer point (2E <-> 2F) and usually only one is open, until a queue forms and then they open another one or two...

Last edited by Ditto; Nov 18, 16 at 5:17 am
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Old Nov 18, 16, 7:02 am
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ENFIN !!!! It was time...
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Old Nov 18, 16, 9:56 am
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The lines at 2E have been a lot worse this year than last year.

I wish that they would allow usage of the machines for titre de séjour holders. They already have my finger print data . . .

Last edited by SEA-Flyer; Nov 18, 16 at 10:07 am
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Old Nov 19, 16, 2:03 am
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Angry

This morning it was absolute chaos at 2E immigration (arrivals) at 7am. About 4 booths open. Regular line had...hard to estimate but likely 1000-1500 persons in line (the room was completely filled). The skyP lane was full from its beginning. And PARAFES... (See picture below which speaks by itself). Of course one gate was not working and the 2 others were working very poorly (very slow or not functioning properly). And, ironically, I was standing in front of the sign displayed on the 2nd picture...no comment and Welcome to France
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Old Nov 19, 16, 4:22 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
This morning it was absolute chaos at 2E immigration (arrivals) at 7am. About 4 booths open. Regular line had...hard to estimate but likely 1000-1500 persons in line (the room was completely filled). The skyP lane was full from its beginning. And PARAFES... (See picture below which speaks by itself). Of course one gate was not working and the 2 others were working very poorly (very slow or not functioning properly). And, ironically, I was standing in front of the sign displayed on the 2nd picture...no comment and Welcome to France
I understand the stricter controls, but that does not explain everything. Is there some soft "industrial action" going on by the Police des Frontieres?

In the travel/hotel industry, the weakest point of a chain of service is the one most remembered by a pax.
I agree that CDG has been improving for Air France (and certainly for those using 2A). The few regulars here are fluent in French and very familiar with the airport. However, the rosy picture typically painted by regulars in this forum is often not shared by infrequent pax. And I am not talking about ten or five years ago, but the current experience (say since start 2016). I have many Asian or French relations/friends/colleagues who fly periodically to Paris and they all dread early arrivals at 2E with long distance, wait at immigration and poor luggage delivery.
I am not saying that other airports are better (e.g. LHR for UK passport holders or FRA for German passport holders). But the current image of CDG 2E abroad is awful (I mean morning arrivals on AF longhaul).

We will have to wait till summer 2017 for the installation of of first batch of new gates. And the technology of searching for either finger print (French passports only) or Face recognition (European passports) will undoubtedly create initial problems. Let's just hope that they are planning to use a tested international supplier (there are many of them) rather than a new "brilliant" French venture. Facial recognition e-gates have now been installed at a large number of airports in the world. It is sad to see that France is lagging so badly.
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Old Nov 19, 16, 7:32 am
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It's all about under-staffing. And I can tell you it's not just in Paris. LYS too has long queues with only 1 or 2 border guards stamping passports.
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Old Nov 19, 16, 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
It's all about under-staffing. And I can tell you it's not just in Paris. LYS too has long queues with only 1 or 2 border guards stamping passports.
indeed. I had the very bad surprise recently arriving in LYS from AMS to have a passport control on arrival. One booth open only. It took me 30 min to go through and as several flights arrived after mine, the line behind me was getting totally out of control.
And I agree with you, it is all due to understaffing + in the case of CDG it seems that the network used by the police IT system & PARAFES is very slow (the response time of the system is very long, so if you loose 15 sec/pax, it counts at the end of the day)
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Old Nov 19, 16, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
And I agree with you, it is all due to understaffing + in the case of CDG it seems that the network used by the police IT system & PARAFES is very slow (the response time of the system is very long, so if you loose 15 sec/pax, it counts at the end of the day)
+1
It isn't far from resembling US immigration queues upon arrival.
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Old Nov 19, 16, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
I am not saying that other airports are better (e.g. LHR for UK passport holders or FRA for German passport holders).
The situation for UK passport holders at LHR is usually much much better: whilst there can be very long lines at the UK/Europe in-person control line, there are just so many more automatic gates that UK and European citizens can use, which make waits for the automatic gates much shorter. To contrast things a bit: LHR Terminal 5 has about twenty or so. London City airport with its 4.3 million pax per year has four automated gates. At Paris CDG with I don't know how many more pax (definitely more than 4.3 million, which would present only 6.5% of CDG's total) there are three. And bear in mind whilst LHR T5 only needs to process London-bound passengers, CDG has both Paris-bound passengers and those continuing to a Schengen destination. The LHR gates are often plagued with bugs and maintenance issues, the overall number of available gates is still much higher than CDG, where availability rates vary between 0% and 66%.

Frankfurt as well has many more automatic gates, and I have never seen people lining up to use them. And I've never seen them down, they just seem to work (although I do not assume that this means 100% reliability, just more than in the UK and France).

Thus: the situation is much better for UK and German passport holders (and those with a biometric passport from other EU/EEA/CH countries) simply because there are more automatic gates.

Let's just hope that they are planning to use a tested international supplier (there are many of them) rather than a new "brilliant" French venture. Facial recognition e-gates have now been installed at a large number of airports in the world. It is sad to see that France is lagging so badly.
The system in the UK is a French one. It is by Automatic Systems, which is a company of the Bollore Group (which may explain its Renault-like low reliability?).

But other countries seem to have systems that work well. UAE, Qatar, Germany...
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Old Nov 19, 16, 12:10 pm
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This is sadly so typical of France. We invest huge sums in a system that is totally inefficient - requires pre-registration unlike virtually any other system used in Europe from the UK to Finland and from the Netherlands to Central Europe, as well as is often out of order, stick to it for ages, and now decide to finally invent sliced bread ("decouvrir le fil a couper le beurre") by finally using a system effectively conceived and sold by a French company to other countries and which works much better (not just for UK passport holders, it works fine for all EEA citizens and now those of partner countries like the US).

Incidentally, you correctly mention that those machines have been used in London, but in fact, they have even also been used in Australia for years so that it typically takes much less time for a random French person to enter "tough guarded" Australia than France. How pathetic and ridiculous really, so much waste, but better late than never I guess...
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Old Nov 19, 16, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
This is sadly so typical of France. We invest huge sums in a system that is totally inefficient - requires pre-registration unlike virtually any other system used in Europe from the UK to Finland and from the Netherlands to Central Europe, as well as is often out of order, stick to it for ages, and now decide to finally invent sliced bread ("decouvrir le fil a couper le beurre") by finally using a system effectively conceived and sold by a French company to other countries and which works much better (not just for UK passport holders, it works fine for all EEA citizens and now those of partner countries like the US).
Refering to the bolded part of your post, the pre-registration was only for the non-biometric passports. For quite a significant number of years now, all passport delivered in France were directly compatible with the system without need for additional registration (your fingerprints are taken during the passport demand process). So I am not sure anyone needs a registration now.
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Old Nov 19, 16, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
Refering to the bolded part of your post, the pre-registration was only for the non-biometric passports. For quite a significant number of years now, all passport delivered in France were directly compatible with the system without need for additional registration (your fingerprints are taken during the passport demand process). So I am not sure anyone needs a registration now.
Yes, sorry if I wasn't clear. I know it is no longer needed but I was illustrating the original flaws of the system even though some have been improved since.
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Old Nov 19, 16, 7:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
Refering to the bolded part of your post, the pre-registration was only for the non-biometric passports. For quite a significant number of years now, all passport delivered in France were directly compatible with the system without need for additional registration (your fingerprints are taken during the passport demand process). So I am not sure anyone needs a registration now.
Registration is not needed for French biometric passport, but it is required for other EU nationals. I believe that is because Parafe use fingerprint recognition rather than face recognition that can be directly used on any EU biometric passport.

Many European airports have installed e-gates with facial recognition for all EU biometric passports. LHR now has them for a year, so it is not restricted to UK nationals (was when Iris was the system), AMS, FRA but also smaller airports like BRU, LIS, ...

France will be years late.

Face recognition still requires an agent to be ready to deal with problems. Typically, there is one agent for 4 e-gates. That still helps the staffing issue dramatically. But maintenance , which is not a French strong point, has to be performed efficiently.
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