The collapse of the police control in Barajas leaves 15,000 passengers on the ground since March

William GinesCONTINUEAntonio Ramirez CerezoCONTINUEMadrid Updated:06/06/2022 18:40h
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The chaos in
Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas airport controls
continues to grow despite repeated complaints from airlines. The lack of police resources has caused thousands of passengers to lose their air connections due to the long queues that form at the passport filter at certain times of the day. But the problem is already greater. Only in terminal 4 of the infrastructure, Iberia reports that more than 15,000 passengers have missed connecting flights since March. Something that happens at the gates of the most important summer for the airline sector.

The warnings have been repeated. Already at the end of last year, 6,000 passengers lost connecting flights, as this newspaper anticipated.

The Spanish airline employers, ALA, then appealed to the Ministry of the Interior to reinforce the police team at the Spanish airport that moves the most passengers a year. But the department headed by Fernando Grande-Marlaska turned a deaf ear and during Easter alone another 3,000 passengers lost links at this airport.

Now, the airlines are looking with concern at what may happen in the summer, when British tourists return to Spanish beaches after two years of harsh restrictions by the Boris Johnson government. This will also be
the first of normality where the British will arrive in Spain
as non-EU citizens. This forces them to pass the passport filter in the Spanish airport network. So it will no longer be just a Barajas problem, but they also fear that it could spread to the airports on the Spanish coast.

They are especially concerned about what might happen at aerodromes such as those in the archipelagos, Alicante or Malaga, the main destinations for British tourists in the summer season. In 2019, more than 18 million citizens of the United Kingdom arrived in Spain and at stake is to consolidate that figure. In fact, there were already problems at Canarian airports during last winter, when it is high season in the region.

For this reason, the airlines are pressing the Government to relax the regulations and allow British passengers to pass through the electronic passport filters. In principle, these controls are reserved for community passengers, but the sector calls for an effort to make this rule more flexible. They know that a difficult summer at airports can affect Spain's international image and make the front pages of British newspapers.

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