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Minister Flanagan officially opens new eGates in Dublin Airport

  • eGates now compatible with Passport Card for first time
  • Over 2.5m people passed through existing eGates in 2018

1 June 2019

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today officially opened new eGates for passport control in Dublin Airport. The eGates are up and running in Terminal 1 and will shortly be operational in Terminal 2. The new eGates feature flatbed scanners which allow for the use of the Passport Card for the first time.

Minister Flanagan said:

"I am very pleased that the Passport Card can now be used in the eGates. As Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade I introduced the Passport Card in October 2015. As Minister for Justice and Equality I have been very eager to ensure that the card can be used in the eGates and I believe this step will further increase the convenience which the wallet sized card brings to passengers travelling within the EU/EEA and Switzerland."

The Minister acknowledged that not everyone will wish to use eGates, and reassured travellers using the airport saying:

"We will continue to provide a mix of manned booths and eGates in order to offer the best option possible to all those travelling through the airport."

eGates were first opened in Dublin Airport in December 2017. They provide highly secure automated passport validation and security checks on passengers, by using advanced facial recognition technology and integrating with national and international watch lists. Over 2.5m passengers passed through the existing eGates in 2018, 16% of all arriving passengers. The top five nationalities using the eGates were Irish, UK, French, Italian and Dutch travellers, with Irish users accounting for half of all successful eGates transactions. It is hoped that the new eGates will allow for even greater numbers to pass through them.

Minister Flanagan added:

"This bank holiday weekend marks the start of the busy summer holiday period. Dublin Airport is one of the fastest growing large airports in Europe with passenger numbers increasing 45% in recent years from 21.7m in 2014 to 31.5m in 2018. Indeed, just over 200,000 people will pass through immigration control over the 4 day bank holiday weekend period. This is a 4.5% increase over the same weekend last year. The new eGates provide for greater ease of use for passengers and will allow for quicker movement through passport control while also ensuring that all necessary security checks take place."

There are currently 10 eGates in each of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 arrivals with an additional five eGates in the new Transfers Facility. The eGates allow passport holders from the EU/EEA and Switzerland who are over 18 years of age a "self-service" type channel to clear immigration control. The eGates at the Transfer Area also facilitate US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and Japanese citizens (in addition to EU & EEA), if not transferring to the UK.

It is anticipated that increased use of eGates will be made at Dublin Airport and at other airports over time. The eGate technology will be subject to ongoing review and refinement as required, both during their incremental rollout and moving into the future.

Notes for editors

Passport Card

The Passport Card allows Irish citizens to travel to 31 countries, including European Union member states, the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and Switzerland, without needing to carry their passport book. It can be applied for online, or through a dedicated app, allowing Irish citizens to apply directly from their mobile device.

Designed to fit in a standard wallet or purse, the Passport Card is convenient and secure to carry when travelling. It is particularly valuable for frequent or long-haul travellers, as it facilitates travel within Europe while their passports may be held by foreign embassies for visa processing purposes. The card can also be used as an identity document or for age verification, both at home and abroad, avoiding the need for Irish citizens to carry a passport book with them and risk the inconvenience and expense of it being lost or stolen.

More information, including how to apply for a card, can be found at:


Border Management Unit

The Border Management Unit (BMU) of the Department of Justice and Equality took over all immigration checks fully from An Garda Síochána in 2017, which released Gardaí back to their own, vitally important work.

BMU officials are responsible for checking the passports of all passengers who do not use the eGate system to enter the state. This includes all EU and non EU travellers to Ireland.

Officers are specially trained to operate a firm but fair approach to customers who wish to enter the country; in this work they use their document identification skills and knowledge of international visas to ensure that customers have the correct permission to pass through immigration.

To cope with increased capacity, the Department expects to employ extra staff in the coming months.

BMU staff, who come from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, work shifts that rotate so there is a BMU presence in the airport 24/7, 365 days of the year.

Charlie Flanagan TD

Charlie Flanagan TD

Charlie Flanagan TD is Minister for Justice and Equality.



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Published:1 June 2019

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