By George Psyllides
STAFF shortages at passport control and security checkpoints are causing long queues at Paphos airport, local officials said on Wednesday.
The chairman of the district’s chamber of commerce said they will demand from the justice ministry to provide more staff so that lines were drastically cut.
Andreas Demetriades visited the airport with mayor Fedonas Fedonos, Paphos MPs, and other local officials, in a bid to solve the problem.
Demetriades said the airport’s capacity at peak times was around 1,000 inbound and 1,000 outbound passengers, whereas in reality those figures were two-and-a-half times higher.
This results in huge delays and queues which in some cases extended 300 metres, he said.
The problem is mostly observed on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
It is understood that this schedule suits airlines, tour operators, and ground handlers.
Airport operator Hermes has sent numerous letters to the government, asking for adequate personnel to meet the needs of both Paphos and Larnaca airports.
Demetriades said the situation was unacceptable. Paphos officials have received many complaints from passengers and tour operators and other companies that use the airport.
The state “must put in place short-term measures to resolve the problem by increasing personnel in the two areas.”
Demetriades said passenger traffic rose by around 21 per cent compared with last year and was expected to increase further.
“Considering that Paphos is the European Cultural Capital for 2017, and the number of flights is expected to increase significantly in light of this, all the necessary measures must be taken to tackle the problem,” he said.