SG3 – Border Security

Man monitoring cctv cameras in modern control room

The performance improvement of systems designed for national border security is an issue that is particularly relevant in the context of the whole Homeland Security. In this respect, the risks to
be taken into account are of various type: they relate to illegal immigration, the criminal  attack/seizure of vehicles, attacks and acts of terrorism, cargo theft as well as risks caused by  irregular transportation/release  of dangerous goods or goods which can cause environmental pollution, as well as by the illegal trade of goods.

In this context, the security has therefore to be referred to the whole set of maritime, land and air national borders, considering specific requirements that arise from each subset. Control
capabilities are primarily sought with reference to the access of people, goods and their vehicles to the national area. These capabilities have also to be assured in international contiguous spaces
(sea and air) both for transport risks in these areas of direct national interest, and for foreseeable transport risks in the national space, in the case of related border crossing events.
Control of such international spaces implies also a growing specific cooperation between systems and organizations of different States.

The need of increasingly effective support for border security is connectable also to specific changes in the security management at domestic ground border-crossings for the various types of transport (airports, ports, railway crossings, road crossings).

The improvement of border security implies a strong evolution in different fields: technology, systems, as well as management.

The major interest topics will be further discussed in the following subsectors:

  • Airport Security;
  • Border Surveillance.

Airport Security

The main aim of this sector is the research and development of solutions (systems, technologies and organizations) able to improve the surveillance capabilities in a modern airport system, improving security and service levels for passengers. Everything should be developed maintaining a proper quality of service for the public: fast check-in, automatic luggage inspection and people scan that should be quick, not intrusive and cost effective for the security operators.

Airports represent nationwide access and exit points. Considering the importance and the value of regulatory instruments and technology means, the challenges that come from the mobility needs of
citizens and the evolution of threats for the airport security, require an integrated approach between Industry, Security Operators and different Public Institutions involved.

The main objective of this theme is the assessment of research needs to address, in a coherent framework, all aspects of the secure and safe management of airport infrastructures for people and

Main airports’ assets to be considered are:


  • Airplanes;
  • ICT related infrastructures in terms of:

•  passenger services;
•  airport operator services;
•  aircraft ground movement control systems;
•  telecommunication systems.

  • Airport infrastructures in terms of:

•  “air side” areas;
•  “land side area” inside and outside the airport;
•  nearby transport infrastructure.

All these assets are to be assessed in terms of their vulnerability to technological and/or man-made hazards:

  • Attacks against Communication networks;
  • Attacks against personnel and informatics systems;
  • Unauthorized intrusion in restricted and protected areas;
  • Attacks with chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) substances;
  • Attacks on infrastructure by manned or unmanned means both by ground and by air.

Specific attention will also be devoted to issues related to regulations and procedures in order to support the necessary coordination between the government and relevant agencies at national and
international level.

The more relevant research topics are the following:

  • Luggage Inspection and people scan, including biometric systems;
  • Acquisition and management of biometric data;
  • ATM Security;
  • Protection of airport buildings and aircraft parking bays.

Luggage Inspection and people scan, including biometric systems
The objective of this research activity is to develop innovative technologies and systems in order to speed-up and make more automatic and reliable operations for luggage and passenger inspections.

Acquisition and management of biometric data
The aim of this research activity is to develop and integrate new systems based on biometric technologies for people recognition and identification at local scale and extended to release the
permissions to emigrate.

ATM Security
The objective of this research is to develop systems, tools and technologies to improve security of systems for air traffic management, gate-to-gate mode, against human threats.

Airport buildings and aircraft parking bays
The objective of this research is the development of systems, tools and technologies to improve security in the airport context for the ground traffic management of aircrafts and support/security

Border Surveillance

The objective of this Subsector is to address the research and development towards a fundamental issue for Border Security, that is the ability to “monitor”, in an integrated and coordinated way
with neighboring  countries, all transit spaces (by land, sea , plane) that allow the crossing of border perimeters of a country.

The more relevant research topics are the following:

  • Integrated surveillance systems for land and air monitoring;
  • Surveillance of maritime borders.

Integrated surveillance systems for land and air monitoring
For the air environment, the proposed requirements and changes have primarily to be covered by plans for international security. Specific connections with security systems in airports are implied
nationwide. A potential threat to the country may be represented by small aircrafts, including UAV’s, which can be used for terrorist acts, overcoming civil and military surveillance systems
which are currently in use.

This scenario, related to the air surveillance of boundaries, is considered to have “medium-high priority” by the national point of view. In the context of land surveillance, border security should be primarily applied in the ability of monitoring focal points (customs stations, ports, border road crossings, railway stations operating as international border crossings), but also in monitoring along country land borders.

A specific need is the surveillance of the whole land border perimeter of Italian territory, with the aim of counteracting illegal activities (drug trafficking / illegal migration). The complexity that arises from this latter need is tempered by the fact that such surveillance is related to membership of Italy in the EU. The scenario, related to land boundaries, is to be considered a medium-high priority from a national perspective.

Surveillance of maritime borders
With regard to the surveillance of maritime borders, the main insights associated with this issue (high priority) comes out by considering the significant extension of Italian coast and the peculiar position of the country within the framework of the Mediterranean Sea. Monitoring of such a long maritime boundary requires a situational awareness of an area extended virtually to the entire
Mediterranean Sea, in order to operate quickly, taking into account the overall framework.
Consequently, in this context, the main objective is the integration into a coherent picture of all maritime surveillance systems currently operating in the Italian territory.

However it is worthwhile to point out that the development of capabilities, usually foreshadowed, even when developed in the maritime sector, can be exploited for their reusability even in other
contexts (land, air).

SG 3 Partners: Borders Security