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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Maximum number of border control staff at airports for peak season

Lisbon, July 4, 2022 (Lusa) – Portugal's interior ministry said on Monday that the summer contingency plan for airports today has "maximum allocation" of additional resources and assured that it will continue to be monitored for possible "necessary adjustments".
"The plan today has the maximum allocation of resources for which it was designed, and will continue to be monitored throughout the summer, through dialogue between the interior ministry, the immigration and borders service, SEF, and ANA, the country's airports manager, as well as other relevant entitites in the process so that necessary adjustments can be made at any time," said the interior minister, José Luís Carneiro, summarising the balance of the first month of the IATA 2022 summer contingency plan.
According to the interior ministry (MAI), the contingency plan for Portuguese airports was prepared to cope with the exponential increase in passenger arrivals during the summer period, as well as major events.
The MAI states that the plan was designed to "reinforce the capacity to control the external borders of the European Union, ensuring the security of the Schengen area and promoting fluidity in the processing of passengers entering and leaving the country through air borders.
MAI states that permanent monitoring and weekly evaluation of the contingency plan was carried out through follow-up meetings.
"Despite the large number of flights and the volume of passengers controlled, there were no significant constraints, after the beginning of the implementation of the plan, with the exception of specific situations in Lisbon and Faro", assures MAI, stressing that "it was possible to significantly increase the occupancy rate of passport control stations in periods considered peak, thus allowing a faster processing of passenger flows".
The MAI also stresses that "the maximum waiting times at airports have substantially decreased, especially at Lisbon airport, where "only very rarely did it reach 60 minutes last week, and in general it was much lower".
The ministry said that the plan is based on substantial reinforcement of human resources allocated to airports as well as new technological and operational solutions.
According to MAI, 55 SEF inspectors have been redeployed to airports, 25 of whom were posted in Lisbon, 15 in Faro and 15 in Porto, and 176 PSP police officers have also been deployed, with a border control course taught by SEF, 42 of whom started practical training at airports today.
In the scope of technological solutions, MAI refers that an "update and constant monitoring of the available technological equipment" is being done and the "SEF Mobile and anticipated control of passengers are being used in random controls in determined flights or in big events".
MAI reports the expansion, on June 15, of Rapid4all (technological gates for passenger control - E-Gates) for the United States and Canada, allowing this solution to process more than 19,000 passengers of these nationalities upon arrival in Lisbon.
MAI also guarantees that the first-generation E-gates (RAPID) are "fully operational and already process around a third of passengers at Lisbon airport entrances" and passenger awareness and routing campaigns have been reinforced, with an increase in ANA blue dots (support staff), improved queue management and better signage.
The contingency plan for Portuguese airport border crossings for the period June to September 2022 has a set of measures that were planned to be implemented gradually until today.
Among the measures is a reinforcement of 238 SEF and PSP personnel during the summer months, 82% more than the current staff at border crossings, bringing the number at airports to 529, and several technological solutions.
According to MAI, the plan is being implemented at a time when there is high pressure on airport systems in Europe and in different parts of the world, which translates generally into flight cancellations, increased waiting times and other disturbances affecting airports, airlines and passengers.

Agency : LUSA

Date : 2022-07-05 10:41:25


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