The trial operation of the automated border surveillance system on the Evros land border with Turkey formally started on Wednesday.
The system consists of a network of cameras and long-range radar that has been installed along the border, transmitting images and data on the conditions in the area in real time.
According to the project’s contract, the trial period will last one month and the system is expected to be fully operational on November 20.
More specifically, the network consists of a total of 11 cameras and radars with a range of 3.5 to 15 kilometers inside Turkish territory, ensuring what officials call “timely border detection,” as they will from now on be able to identify and record the movements of, among others, illegal migrants before they approach Greek territory.
The cameras cover an area of several kilometers from Sofiko to the Evros Delta in Alexandroupoli, which is a distance of more than 100 kilometers.
Moreover, the images and data from the cameras and radars are transferred to four local and two regional operational centers, as well as to Police Headquarters on Katehaki Avenue in central Athens.
One of the four local centers is in the Police Academy in Didymoteicho, while the other three are in the Border Guard Departments in Soufli, Tychero and Feres. The two regional centers respectively, are located in Orestiada and Alexandroupoli.
The project is budgeted at 14.9 million euros and is funded by EU funds, specifically the Internal Security Fund (DG Home). The project was first announced in December 2016, with the European Commission agreeing to fund it due to renewed concerns about the prospect of a new wave of migration flows similar to the previous one in 2015.