CALLS have been made for more Policia Nacional to be put on duty at Spanish airports to avoid massive queues this summer holiday season.

President of the Lineas Aereas association, Javier Gandara, made the plea after a reported 3,000 passengers missed flights from Madrid airport during the Easter holidays due to long queues at passport control thanks to Brexit. 

Airlines complained that the blame for the delays experienced by their customers lay with insufficient numbers of police in passport controls.

Gandara said: “It will be the first summer when passports for travellers to the UK have to be checked and the first when air traffic is likely to be normal, now that the British Government has lifted all the restrictions imposed because of the pandemic.

“There have already been problems at the airports over Easter and we need to avoid this happening in peak season. That’s why it’s important that enough police officers are assigned to handle the high numbers of passengers.”

Customs Flickr
This is the first summer of post-Brexit passport controls for UK citizens.
Photo: Flickr.

However, the passport stamping system is supposed to be ditched from May this year, to be replaced with an automated EU Entry/Exit System (EES).

The EU Commission´s Home Affairs and Migration says the current system is “time-consuming, does not provide reliable data on border crossings and does not allow a systematic detection of overstayers”. 

Following the start of EES, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will also be implemented for Brits, as it is already for travellers from other non-Schengen zone countries. 

ETIAS is an online travel authorisation for Schengen zone countries to be completed before a trip which remains valid for three years, unless the passport expires before then, at a price of €7. 


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