“Room for improvement” at Lisbon airport

By TPN/Lusa, in World · 30-08-2019 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s airport authority ANA, has stated that there is ‘great room for improvement’ in border control at Lisbon airport, following reports in July there were three days with maximum waiting times during peak periods of over an hour.

The progress made in reducing waiting times is important for ANA’s objective of, together with SEF [the Foreigners and Borders Service], establishing service levels in line with international best practice, where average waiting times are not measured (which include off-peak times with a small number of non-Schengen passengers), but rather peak times in peak periods, where there is still a large margin for improvement at Lisbon airport today.

In July, there were three days with maximum waiting times of more than one hour and 10 days with maximum waiting times of more than 45 minutes.

ANA points out that ‘the improvements observed result from the strengthening of SEF teams [...] and reiterates the fact that previous service levels are due to staffing numbers’.

On Tuesday, the Assistant Secretary of State and Home Affairs, Isabel Oneto, told Lusa that the average waiting time for passengers at Humberto Delegate Airport border control was less than 10 minutes in July, with a new arrivals area with more SEF posts planned for October.

Three more e-gates (electronic gates for reading biometric passport data) are planned along with two more manual gates in the new arrivals area by the end of September, beginning of October”.

At the beginning of the month ANA, Portugal’s Airports Authority explained that a “specific area was planned for the arrival of flights from safe origins, whose controls are faster.

In total, the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) will acquire 49 new generation e-gates “with a faster and more functional operating system able to process passports with biometric data more quickly”, added the secretary of state.

16 more gates are planned at Faro airport, 10 in Funchal, and one in Porto.

Isabel Oneto welcomed the reduction in waiting times for passengers to pass through airport passport controls, saying that this was due to an increase in SEF staffing levels.

“These are the best waiting times since records began. In July the average waiting time for passengers was less than 10 minutes both at the entrances and exits,” she stressed.

In the first six months of the year, SEF has already controlled more than eight million passengers, which represents an increase of 10.9% over the same period of 2018.


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