The Ministry of the Interior has a problem in the main airports with the entry of tourists into Spain. It is denounced by the policemen who work in passport controls, validated by airlines and corroborated by external agents, such as the Tourism Board, after taking the pulse of the collapse that the terminals are already beginning to register.

The troops of the National Police are not enough to deal with a volume that has multiplied due to the fact that the British have become non-EU citizens. This circumstance has resulted in a collapse -with flight losses included-, attacks on police officers and tension between the staff and the department of Fernando Grande-Marlaska, who denies this scenario but yesterday announced the incorporation of 500 more police officers at 12 airports .

Passport control is congested and the resources available, depending on the situation in the main terminals, are not sufficient for fluidity. At Alicante airport the situation is especially complicated.

“This is a chaos. We are overwhelmed, ”reflects one of the agents who works at the terminal. Alicante is one of the main destinations for British tourism – of the 15 million passengers it registers annually, more than six come from the United Kingdom – and the avalanche of arrivals has left the Police unable to react.

According to the Jupol union, there are 81 agents when 160 would be necessary to be able to process the passports without the control becoming congested. However, only four new positions have been created for a terminal that, in the months and August, becomes the second airport in Spain, behind Madrid, with the highest passenger traffic.

Last week a British tourist who had to wait more than an hour to process his entry into Spain broke the hand of one of the policemen who was at passport control. “In the end, people explode and we are not enough to take on this workload,” he denounces. “There is a lack of personnel and this is an emergency because we have not even reached the peak of travelers and we are already overwhelmed. There is a deficit and the places are not covered », he insists.

Jupol also warns of the lack of personnel in other tourist airports such as, for example, Tenerife – “there are 98 and 50 are necessary” -, or El Prat where, the union indicates, “143 agents are leaving and 122 are going to be replaced, with so there will be 21 unfilled positions ».

For its part, Interior maintains that of the 500 additional troops, 189 will be assigned to the Madrid-Barajas airport, another 89 police officers to El Prat and 50 to Palma de Mallorca.

Thus, it rejects that problems are occurring in the controls and shoots down Iberia’s complaint, which assured that between March and May 15,000 passengers lost their connecting flight due to the collapse of police filters. There is no record or registered complaints », he resolves.

The airline sector has been denouncing for some time that the lack of agents at passport controls could cause a collapse at the main airports. ALA, the Association of Airlines, sent a letter to the Interior months ago asking for reinforcements. Both ALA and Iberia have reported that some 20,000 flights have been lost in Barajas alone since the beginning of the year, and the problem extends to other tourist airports. “Today passengers were taking 40 minutes on average to pass the filter,” explain sources from an airline.

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