New border control procedures at airports: Abolition of identity check for travellers to nine new Schengen countries

Brussels Airport, 26 March 2008 – At the end of last year nine “new” member states of the European Union joined the Schengen area: Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Since 21 December 2007 checks at internal land and sea borders between these countries and the other countries in the Schengen area have been abolished. With regard to the air borders, the introduction of the new procedures was postponed until the start of the new summer season. As of 30 March passengers travelling to the new Schengen countries from Brussels Airport will no longer be subject to an identity check at the border.

Flights to and from these nine countries used to be handled at pier B, which can only be used for non-Schengen traffic. As from the earliest hours of 30 March all flights to and from these countries will be handled at pier A. Travellers who depart from or arrive at this pier will not be checked at the border. Aviation security procedures do however require that airlines check the identity of the passenger against the name on the travel documents. This is why passengers are always required to carry a valid proof of identity, even if they travel within the Schengen area.

For passengers travelling to any of the nine countries from Brussels Airport, this measure will change very little except that they will depart from pier A instead of pier B. For frequent flyers in particular this may take some time getting used to.

This measure will affect some 30 flights a day. The most popular destinations in the new Schengen member states are Budapest, Prague and Warsaw.

As of the summer season a number of long-haul flights will be handled at pier A. Long-haul flights by definition are flights to a destination outside Europe, this is why they are handled at pier B to date. To be able to handle more wide-bodies at peak hours in the future, Brussels Airport plans to use part of the capacity of pier A for long-haul traffic. Works to adapt the infrastructure in pier A will be carried out in the next few months. The exact timing and conditions of the switchover will be discussed with the airlines concerned.

About Brussels Airport
Brussels Airport is one of the largest airports in Europe, handling well over 17.8 million passengers and 780,000 tons of freight annually. Brussels Airport links the European capital with 225 destinations worldwide that are served by 96 different airlines: 80 passenger airlines and 16 full-freighter airlines.

Brussels Airport is dedicated to become the most European, most efficient and most welcoming airport in Europe. Brussels Airport caters for the specific needs of the business travellers, but also has the largest low-fare offer in Belgium.

Brussels Airport is operated by The Brussels Airport Company. The shareholders are the Belgian State (25 percent) and a consortium of investors headed by Macquarie Airports (75 percent).

Over 260 companies and services are active at Brussels Airport. Together they employ 20,000 staff.


Source: Brussels Airport
For further information about Brussels Airport, click here

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