National airports will have an additional 238 SEF and PSP officers during the summer months, an 82 percent increase compared to the current numbers.

The national director of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), Fernando Silva, indicated that this reinforcement of human resources will be gradual and will be in place fully by 4 July.

In total, Portuguese airports will have 529 personnel to carry out border controls for passengers arriving on flights from countries outside the European Union.

In addition to the reinforcement of SEF inspectors from all over the country, this plan also includes the integration of 168 PSP agents, said Fernando Silva.

The contingency plan for the national air border posts for the months of June to September, presented to the Ministry of Internal Administration, also includes several technological solutions for Lisbon Airport.

Algarve first

The national director of the SEF explained that the contingency plan starts on 2 June at Faro airport, the next day in Lisbon, coming into force gradually and at the end of the first half of June it will be operational at the six airports.

Lisbon airport will see the biggest increase in staff with the 102, increasing to 241, followed by Faro, with 45 more operational staff, up to 104, and Porto will have 48 more staff, for a total of 89.

In turn, the airport of Funchal will have a reinforcement of 24 staff, increasing to 48 employees in the summer months, the airport of Porto Santo, will have one more person to take the total to four and Ponta Delgada will have 11 more officers, totalling 24 personnel involved.

The technological solutions will be implemented at Lisbon airport, namely through the creation of a mobile control team reinforced with 'SEFMobile' technology (mobile app for border control developed by SEF) and the development of a pilot project for the early control of borders, through a pre-registration system by passengers.

More e-gates

During the summer months, at Lisbon airport, the use of e-gates (they allow faster processing and reading of passports with biometric data) will also be extended to other nationalities with low migratory risk and the strengthening of awareness campaigns for the use of e-gates by all eligible passengers.

Fernando Silva highlighted that this plan is different from previous summer reinforcements “not only because of its human resources, but also because of its technological and innovative aspects and solutions”.

The same official also justified this plan with “the exponential growth of controlled passengers, the strong impact of the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union and the concentration of passengers at specific peak times”.