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Air transport associations urge E.U. to fix border delays

Nobody enjoys flight delays, and in an open letter to the European Council of Ministers, several air transport organizations are calling for European Union member states to adopt measures reducing widespread delays that followed recent regulatory changes.

Delays at E.U. airports, the letter stated, have increased drastically after the recent implementation of an E.U. regulation aimed at increasing security for flights departing the E.U.

IATA, Airlines for Europe, the Airlines International Representation in Europe, the European Regions Airline Association and Airport Council International Europe all signed on to the letter “to preserve connectivity at E.U. hub airports.”

According to the open letter, delayed flights related to border control issues increased by 97 percent, year-over-year, between April and June, after enforcement of the new regulation began.

IATA estimates that processing times under the new regulation have increased by 20 seconds per passenger for an average increase of an hour per flight – and delayed passenger flights equal delayed shipments of belly cargo. Airlines have absorbed most of the losses from the resulting “no-show” passengers delayed during border control checks, which is “severely disrupting airports’ and airlines’ operations,” the letter said.

The organizations recommended E.U. member states increase the number of border officers and automated border control gates to deal with airport congestion. They also suggested that member states collecting advance passenger information data fully utilize the advance verification to increase border check efficiency.

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