The airlines, against the Government for charging them 150 million euros of the new biometric borders

The airlines charge again against the Government and the manager of the Spanish airports, Aena, with whom the scuffles continue after the battle over the expenses of the Covid-19. The Council of Ministers approved at the beginning of the month an investment of 150 million dedicated to the new biometric identification system known as SES (Entrance and Exit System). A device that promises to put an end to the long queues at the passport filters, which have put airports in check this year and which have led to a crossroads of accusations between airlines and the Ministry of the Interior due to the level of police personnel present in the infrastructures . The investment, however, will be charged by Aena to the sector through airport fees. The airlines continue to denounce the lack of sensitivity that the Government has had with the companies throughout the sanctuary crisis. For the president of the Association of Air Lines (ALA), Javier Gándara, «it rains on wet». The head of the employers' association, which represents 85% of air traffic in Spanish skies, regrets that the Government has once again endorsed an investment that they believe, in addition to following a European guideline and not one of the Executive, does not correspond to them, as has already happened with the expenses derived from Covid-19. “As with health controls, the vast majority of these measures are not made to guarantee the safety of travelers, but of all Spaniards. The new system is implemented to monitor border control and citizen security and we think that it is the Interior and the State that should take charge," Gándara explains to this newspaper, noting that, although airport charges have dropped by 3.16% in 2022, "if it were not for the charge of Covid-19 expenses, they would have done so by 11%". The bulk of the new surcharge will form part of the next Airport Regulation Document (DORA), which will come into force in 2027, so the sector will not have to face short-term expenses, still in crisis after two years of activity half gas for the pandemic. Related News standard No The business of strikes: compensation claim companies double income Cristian Callau Only between five and ten percent of passengers request the compensation to which they are entitled: the cancellation of a flight is the main reason of demand In any case, the airlines celebrate the arrival of the new system, after a year in hard trouble, being the first with normal movements, after the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, which requires British citizens ( our biggest visitor) to go through the passport filters to be considered as non-community. Only between March and June, 15,000 passengers lost connections in Barajas due to long queues, according to the airlines themselves. The new biometric device will be implemented simultaneously in all the countries that belong to the Schengen area, automating controls that until now can only be carried out manually or semi-automatically. "It will give fluidity," estimates Gándara, although he believes that the introduction will be complex because it also depends on passengers registering in the system. Out of aid The most annoying thing for the airlines is that the Government continues to throw stones at their recovery, while forgetting about them in its plan of anti-crisis measures that does offer fuel aid to other transport sectors. “The Government cannot forget about us. We are a strategic and fundamental sector for the development of tourism, connectivity, cargo and, therefore, the economy and employment. Of the 7.5 million tourists who visited us in June, 6.4 million arrived by plane, 910,000 by road, 87,000 through ports and 28,000 by train. Spain is seeing its economic recovery boosted thanks to tourism, which depends on aviation. In this context, the comparative grievance that our sector is suffering compared to other modes of transport is not understood, ”the airline employers lament. Related News standard No Europe opens the door to restrict the rights of air passengers Rosalía Sánchez The Presidency of the Council initiates a reform that extends the exemption from liability and modifies compensation for delays Therefore, they urge the Executive to take action on the matter. Specifically, they ask that all the costs derived from the health security measures against Covid-19, as well as that of the Entry and Exit System, be eliminated. Finally, the articulation of subsidies for the production of sustainable fuels "to alleviate the burden of airlines in their transition towards the goal of net zero emissions", they ask from ALA.

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