Published: Fri, August 04, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Irish passengers face airport delays due to new European Union security rules

Irish passengers face airport delays due to new European Union security rules

Airlines for Europe (A4E), a coalition of carriers such as British Airways, EasyJet and Air France-KLM, have issued a statement criticizing several major airports in the continent over "huge delays".

The details of people from non-Schengen countries, such as the United Kingdom, will be run through databases to see if they pose a threat.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has slammed new passport controls which are causing chaos for holidaymakers at some European Union airports as he revealed that more than a fifth of the airline's flights were being delayed.

The spokesman said Dublin Airport's "on time" performance for departing flights in June was 10pc better than the same month previous year.

The Schengen Area is an area within Europe where there are no passport checks or border controls - there is complete free movement of people.

A4E managing director Thomas Reynaert said passengers had been left "devastated".

Lord Callanan, the aviation minister, said he would urge his counterparts in Spain, Portugal and Italy to do more to cut waiting times for British tourists after reports of four-hour queues.

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The new tests, on both entry and exit, are said to take around two minutes per passenger.

Travel agents say a combination of rising passenger numbers, the busy holiday season and tight security means people need to leave themselves plenty of time to get through the airport.

"All EU member states wanted to have the current rules".

She said it was the responsibility of member states to provide enough resources to make the checks "as smooth as possible", adding it was "very clear that member states had time to prepare".

The European Commission has responded to the delays saying they are "the price of security". "We can not have on the one hand a joint request from member states to have more checks and controls, to increase security, and the same time have complaints about longer waiting periods".

"There is a flight delay in terms of the passport checks on the way in and that certainly could be beefed up and we've made recommendations to the Department of Justice to improve staffing levels at that particular channel", he said.

As A4E also commented, these queues may be here to stay for the time being and especially considering that the new security system at European airports has only just began operating and is scheduled to run through to October.

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