A police union wants more officers at Alicante-Elche airport to reduce queues and numbers of missed flights for UK travellers who need their passports stamped.
JUPOL Alicante, which mainly represents Policia Nacional employees, has sent a proposal to the Police Council to boost staffing.
It argues that officer numbers at the Costa Blanca airport have not kept pace with greater passenger numbers since the 1990s.
They are worried that a return to pre-pandemic travel levels this summer will create serious delays for British nationals.
Since Brexit, UK travellers who do not have a Spanish residency document need their passport stamped by police staff.
JUPOL says that caused problems even with relatively small visitor numbers last year as long queues formed leading to ‘more than 60 passengers who missed their flights on some summer days’.
The union says its worried that in the pre-pandemic and pre-Brexit record-breaking year of 2019, Alicante-Elche airport welcomed over 15 million visitors, with 6.5 million coming from the UK.
They predict a return to such numbers this year which will inevitably lead to delays and frustration.
The airport has the fifth-largest number of international visitors in Spain, but JUPOL Alicante general-secretary, David Garcia says it has only 77 police officers.
He compares that to 131 at Mallorca where the biggest tourist influx comes from Germany.
Malaga has 106 officers and there are are 97 assigned to Tenerife.
“The work at Alicante Airport is superhuman,” observed Garcia.
He also voiced concern that document forgery crimes are on the rise involving people wanting to fly to the UK or other non-EU countries.
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