News Irish News

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Long queues at Dublin Airport's passport control criticised by TD

Noel Rock. Photo: Tom Burke
Noel Rock. Photo: Tom Burke

Gabija Gataveckaite

Queues at the passport control in Dublin Airport have been deemed as "terrible teething problems" by a Dublin TD.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock has called the queues "an ongoing mess" on social media.

"They give a terrible first impression of the country for those arriving for the first time and a terrible welcome home for those returning," he told Independent.ie.

"Sometimes, the queues are perfectly seamless and sometimes they're terribly long."

With the airport in peak summer season, more than 2,904 flights and 452,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airport this bank holiday weekend.

"If you're getting a late flight and spending 20, 30 or 40 minutes waiting in the passport queues, you're probably going to be left waiting for a taxi in a queue outside," he added.

The airport has recently implemented self service passport controls.

"It seems to be a flow issue. The night I was at the airport several weeks ago, there was a fellow at the top of the queue waving people in different directions towards the EU and non-EU queues, but he wasn't directing anyone towards the self-service passport controls," he explained.

"It needs to be looked at by the airport and they need to take responsibility."

As passenger figures are expected to be 6pc higher for the coming bank holiday than last year, it is predicted to be the busiest August Bank Holiday weekend in the airport's history.

When contacted for a comment in relation to the delay in passport queues, a spokesperson explained that passport control is overseen by Irish Naturalisation Immigration Service (INIS) at the department of justice.

In a statement to Independent.ie, a spokesperson for INIS said that the airport is seeing “unprecedented levels of activity and delays will inevitably arise from time to time”.

"Typically, this arises when a very high number of flights arrive within a specific time period with consequent increases to passenger numbers within these peak times. 

"This situation can be compounded when, in addition to scheduled arrivals, delayed flights also land during these peak periods. On those occasions where there are delays in queueing at passport  control, this can be as a result of non EU queues backing up and preventing access to the EU lanes for passengers. 

The spokesperson added that the department will be starting development works to expand the passport hall in Terminal 1.

"This is intended to improve the airport experience for incoming passengers," the statement added.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News