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Airport border control staff increased by 82% from tomorrow

AIRPORT BORDER CONTROL STAFF INCREASED BY 82% FROM TOMORROWNational airports will have a reinforcement of 238 SEF and PSP staff during the summer months, 82% more than the current staff at border posts, with Faro airport increasing from 59 to 104 SEF and PSP staff this Thursday.

The national director of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), Fernando Silva, said that this reinforcement of border control will be gradual, reaching its peak by 4th July.

In total, Portuguese airports will have 529 people to carry out border controls for passengers coming from flights from countries outside the European Union.

In addition to the reinforcement of SEF inspectors from all over the country, this plan includes 168 PSP agents too, said Fernando Silva.

The contingency plan for the national air border posts for the months of June to September, presented to the Ministry of Internal Administration, also includes several technological solutions for Lisbon Airport.

The national director of SEF explained that the contingency plan starts on June 2nd at Faro airport, the next day in Lisbon, coming into force gradually and at the end of the first half of June it will be operational at the six airports.

Lisbon airport is the one that will be reinforced with the moststaff, with 102, increasing to 241, followed by Faro, with 45 more operational staff, will have 104 staff , and Porto, which will have 48 more staff, totalling 89.

In turn, the airport of Funchal will have a reinforcement of 24 staff, increasing to 48 in the summer months, the airport of Porto Santo, will have one more element, making a total of four, and the Ponta Delgada airport will have 11 more staff, totalling 24 personnel.

The technological solutions will be implemented at Lisbon airport, namely through the creation of a mobile control team reinforced with 'SEFMobile' technology (mobile app for border control developed by SEF) and the development of a pilot project for early control of borders, through a pre-registration system by passengers.

During the summer months, at Lisbon airport, the use of e-gates (they allow faster processing and reading of passports with biometric data) will also be extended to other nationalities with low migratory risk and the strengthening of awareness campaigns for the use of e-gates by all eligible passengers.

This contingency plan will be monitored and, according to the SEF, a working group will be created to monitor and evaluate the results weekly.

The SEF director said that the contingency plan for the summer months was resumed this year, having been interrupted in the last two years due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Fernando Silva highlighted that this plan is different “not only because of its human resources, but also because of its technological and innovative aspects and solutions”.

The same official justified this plan with “the exponential growth of controlled passengers, the strong impact of the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union and the concentration of passengers at specific peaks”.

Time will tell...


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