The U.K. Border Force had a nation- wide goal: implement a next-gen screening system to upgrade and streamline security at passport gates
in 20 major airports across Britain. For program
and project managers, the task was daunting. The
£ 18. 4 million ePassport Gates (eGates) program,
which launched in 2014, involved installing biometric identification technology in 180 gates. The
framework agreement lasts for four years and was
awarded to Vision-Box, a Portuguese company
specializing in security and biometrics.
Applying lessons learned from start to finish
helped the Vision-Box project teams integrate the
eGates system at all passport checkpoints. Because
the biometric technology is based on facial-recog-nition software now in use at airports around the
world, the teams could take advantage of lessons
learned from other projects outside of the U.K. It
While installing high-tech screening systems across the U.K., project teams were on the lookout for lessons learned.
also learned from each U.K. airport installation as
each project proceeded.
“On early installations, we discovered that the
devil is in the details,” says Ian Stamatakis-Brown,
head of global project management office operations, Vision-Box, Lisbon, Portugal.
The first rollout of 15 eGates at Gatwick Airport
in Horley, England was a major learning opportunity. The building phase took four weeks, and
system testing and configuration took an additional
four weeks before integration could begin. The
teams have since been able to cut both phases in
half through better planning, incorporating longer
lead times, applying for permits and recognizing up
front where bottlenecks might occur on-site.
For example, the team discovered that delivery
of security equipment required careful planning
at each airport. It learned to lay out an exact route
between the entrance and the project deployment