Using your biometric passport at Riga International airport in Latvia

Riga airport (RIX) is the largest air travel hub in the Baltic region, serving the capital of Latvia and its surrounding regions with nineteen airline companies among which we count Air Baltic, SmartLynx Airlines, Aeroflot, Belavia, Finnair, LOT, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines, Transavia, Turkish Airlines and Wizz Air. These carriers handle domestic and international flights to and from over 100 hundred destinations in the summer and about 80 in the winter season. Conveniently located only 10 kilometres from Riga city centre, its facilities are easily reached by either public transport or taxi cabs.

Its exceptionally good management of the coronavirus outbreak situation has recently earned it a 4-star COVID-19 airport safety rating by Skytrax after the actions taken, the strict rules and safety measures put in place and the effectiveness of the enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures were audited and evaluated. In order to further implement social distancing measures and expedite border control processes -thus contributing to less crowded spaces in the terminals to guarantee the safest possible environment for travellers-, passengers boarding flights at Riga whose destination is a non-EU airport as well as those landing from countries outside of the EU may use their biometric passport to go through the Automated Border Control.

Biometric gates in Riga airport, Latvia

Earlier this month (December 2020) Riga airport announced the introduction and launching of its Automated Border Control System, which consists -for the time being- of 8 biometric gates situated in the non-Schengen arrivals and departures areas, in such a way that travellers flying to non-EU countries or arriving from them can have their facial features scanned and checked against the info in their biometric passport to reduce their waiting time considerably and avoid human interaction. The system provides a more accurate and safer alternative to traditional border control.

Who can go through the Automated Border Control in Riga airport?

To be eligible to clear border control with a biometric passport in Riga, you must be 18 or older, be in possession of an e-passport, be a citizen of a country that belongs to the EU, the EEA or the Swiss Confederation and travel to or from a destination outside the Schengen zone. This advantage is equally granted to passengers in transit. Should you meet all the requirements except for having a biometric ID document, you will go through the border control following the traditional procedures.

Where are the biometric gates in Riga International airport?

The automated border control areas of Riga airport in Latvia can all be found in terminal C (non-schengen flights), and are distributed as follows:

-Four gates on the arrivals area, first floor.

-Two gates on the transit area, first floor.

-Two gates on the departures area, second floor.

Airport hotel in Riga

Will you need to spend an overnight layover at Riga airport? Travellers in transit and passengers of early morning flights may book a room to sleep in the Sky High Hotel, just 2 minutes on foot from the terminals. It offers 19 business-class guest rooms falling into the categories of double occupancy, twin beds or suites. All units feature private shower, TV and may optionally have breakfast included. During your stay, you will enjoy complimentary WiFi internet, access to an onsite gym, tennis courts and a restaurant and free secured parking if required.