Cyprus Mail

Delays at airport as stricter passport checks enforced

Larnaca airport experienced long queues and other minor problems on Monday at as authorities enforced a European directive that provides for stricter passport checks.

The Cyprus News Agency reported that the main reason for the problems was the lack of police staff at the immigration booths.

Long queues were formed but there was no delay to the flight schedule.

The problem could be alleviated with the installation of scanners, which passengers can use themselves, making the process faster.

That however would take another five to six months.

In the meantime, the only thing police can do is to staff all 13 – out of a total of 24 – booths at passport control equipped with scanners.

On Monday, the force had to increase the number of booths after queues started forming at Larnaca airport. No major problems were experienced at Paphos airport.

The police said they were working together with airports operator Hermes to resolve the problems created by the enforcement of the new directive.

The force said “considers it necessary to follow the example adopted in all European countries where technology is utilised to replace a large number of human resources.”

It said it has increased personnel as much as possible and the situation was being monitored.

Hermes had announced earlier this month that implementation of the tighter checks on October 9 will increase the required times for passport control.

Directive 458/2017 reinforces checks against relevant databases for stolen, misappropriated, lost and invalidated travel documents at external borders, to ensure that people do not hide their real identity.

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