New EU rules: Copenhagen Airport and the police anticipate increased waiting times in passport control from 7 October 2017
On Saturday 7 October 2017, new EU rules will enter into force on passport control of passengers crossing Schengen’s external borders. This means that it may now take longer for passengers travelling out of the Schengen Area to get through passport control at Copenhagen Airport.
When the new EU rules enter into force, all passengers crossing Schengen’s external borders will be required to have their passports scanned by the police. Currently, many passengers who are required to go through passport control are used to only having to show their passport, but in future everyone will be required to have their passport scanned. This takes longer, so passengers should be prepared for longer waiting times.
“The new EU rules are being implemented to improve security for Denmark and are part of stricter border controls. Obviously we hope that passengers will appreciate the need for this initiative,” says Per Fiig, head of Danish National Police’s National Centre of Foreign Nationals.
“We’re working closely with the police to do everything we can to help passengers get through as quickly and smoothly as possible,” says Henrik Peter Jørgensen, Copenhagen Airport’s Vice President, Communication. “However, we do expect increased waiting times in passport control, so we’re asking passengers travelling out of the Schengen Area to arrive in good time.”
Stricter scanning requirements will increase waiting times
Waiting times will be increased because from 7 October the police will be required to scan all passports, whereas currently only a varying proportion of passports are scanned.
“Together with the police, we’ve ensured that we have the necessary officers and service staff to help passengers get through as quickly as possible,” says Henrik Peter Jørgensen. “We also established four new passport control lanes before the summer and we expect to have four more in place by the end of the year. All the same, we hope that passengers travelling out of the Schengen Area will remain patient.”
Copenhagen Airport is building two new passport control areas in Pier E and Pier C of the airport, and in the long term the capacity for passport control will treble. These are major expansions in the airport’s busiest areas, so they will take several years to complete. Copenhagen Airport expects to invest more than DKK 700 million in the two new passport control areas.
No change for passengers travelling within the Schengen Area, including domestic passengers
The new EU rules only apply to passengers who are leaving the Schengen Area. For those travelling, for example, to Barcelona, Paris, Oslo or Aalborg, or to any other destination within the Schengen Area, including all domestic passengers, the rules will remain unchanged and, as is currently the case, they will not need to go through passport control and can arrive at the airport at the same time as usual.
Facts about the new rules
- As a result of the EU’s amendment of the Schengen legislation on passport control, from 7 October this year the police at Copenhagen Airport will be scanning the passports of all passengers crossing Schengen’s external borders, i.e. travelling into and out of the Schengen Area.
- The rules mean that everyone travelling to and from a non-Schengen country must have their passport scanned in the police’s passport control at Copenhagen Airport. The passport will be checked against relevant databases.
- Up to now, not all passports have been scanned. Scanning so many more passports in future will naturally take longer and in busy periods there may be queues and longer waiting times.
- The police and Copenhagen Airport are asking passengers travelling out of the Schengen Area to be patient and to follow the recommendations of their airline or travel agent on when to arrive at the airport.
- Passengers flying to a destination in the following countries are travelling within the Schengen Area and do not need to go through passport control. They may therefore arrive at the airport at the same time as usual.
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden, as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
Advice for passengers who have to go through passport control
- Arrive at the airport in good time and follow the recommendations of your airline or travel agent.
- Track your departure on the CPH Airport app or at www.cph.dk under “Flight information” and keep up to date on your gate.
- Check the waiting time in passport control on the information screens at the airport.
- Have your passport ready for inspection when you reach passport control.
- If you are travelling with children under 18, you cannot use the self-service scanners in passport control.
- Note that all family members must show their passports separately.