French Airports Push EU for Entry/Exit System Launch Delay

The executives of French airports are calling on the European Union to delay the launch date of the Entry/Exit System (EES) further.

The EES was originally set to become effective in May of this year. However, due to some problems and at the request of France to postpone its launch until after the Paris Olympics, the EU decided to set a new date, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

In line with the EU’s decision, the EES will now enter into force on November 6, 2024. The approaching deadline has raised concerns among French airport executives, who have said that they will be unable to meet the deadline.

Once the EES become effective, travellers from non-EU countries, regardless of whether they are permitted visa-free entry to the bloc, will have to have their fingerprints and their photographs taken at special kiosks.

The system, which will replace passport stamping, will then use these data to build a biometric profile for all third-country travellers entering the EU.

While the system will ensure more safety and security, the French airports representative, L’Union des Aéroports Français, said that they are concerned that the country will not have enough time to set up kiosks that collect biometric data.

Executives Particularly Concerned About Paris’ Airports

As The Times explains, L’Union des Aéroports Français is particularly concerned about the airports in Paris.

Due to the Olympics, it has been empahsised that the the Parisian airports will be unable to carry out any work from May to September, despite the EU requiring the Member States to have the systems all set up by the end of July.

The executives have also raised concerns about waiting times. The body’s president, Thomas Juin, said that there are risks of the queues getting very long.

The same stressed that the chaos at the border would be made worse and called for additional police to be deployed.

14-Hour Long Border Delays Warned by UK Parliament Committee

The UK Parliament’s European Scrutiny Committee has also raised concerns about the EES, saying that its implementation will cause up to 14-hour-long waits at the border between the EU and the UK.

The Committee said that the long waits would affect not only travellers but also the economy and businesses of local citizens near the border.

The same noted that while the ending of passport stamping will be a major step, the overall travel experience will become more complex for non-EU passport holders.


By Bleona Restelica