More checks at immigration Passport control takes longer at Cologne/Bonn Airport
Cologne/Bonn · Passengers can expect longer waiting times when arriving at Cologne/Bonn airport these days. Checking for the proper Covid documents takes extra time and especially when several flights arrive from non-Schengen areas in a short period of time, the wait gets longer.
Seyyithan Ördek arrived at Cologne/Bonn Airport early Saturday morning last week and experienced a very long wait: "Four planes landed in a short period of time, and only two Federal Police counters were open," she reports. The queue stretched down the entire corridor in the airport building; she estimated it was 200 meters long. "This is an unacceptable situation, especially for children," said Ördek. The automatic passport control area was completely closed. Minimum distances were not observed and in some cases masks were not even worn.
According to the flight schedule, there are times at Cologne/Bonn Airport, especially in the late evening and early morning, when several aircraft are arriving from Izmir, Antalya or Yerevan, Armenia, all within a short period of time. At Cologne/Bonn Airport, the Federal Police are responsible for the entry controls at immigration. “In light of the pandemic, the Federal Police are also supporting the local and state authorities,” explains Christian Tiemann, spokesman for the Federal Police Cologne/Bonn Airport Inspectorate. The work includes checking for required documents such as the digital entry registration or any required proof of a negative Covid test. The automatic passport control is of little help at present, because Covid documents also have to be checked.
Keep documents handy
"During peak times - i.e., those periods when a particularly large number of travelers land at the airport at the same time or within a short period of time and come to immigration control - this can temporarily increase checking and waiting times," says Tiemann. In light of the situation, the Federal Police ask all travelers to take this into account when planning their trip and to have all the necessary documents ready for inspection. This can contribute significantly to speeding up the process.
Persons aged twelve and over must have a negative Covid test result, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery on entry. Persons who have been in an area classified as a high-risk or virus-variant area at the time of entry at any time in the ten days prior to entry must also comply with special requirements and a mandatory quarantine.
No more problems at check-in and security controls
There had also been difficulties with security control processing at Cologne/Bonn Airport in July. And in an internal letter, Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings criticized considerable delays in loading and unloading aircraft due to staff shortages at the airport. In August, Cologne/Bonn Airport said that air travel altogether was still in an unusual situation. The effects of the Covid pandemic on procedures and processes were being felt throughout the air traffic industry and at all major airports. As a result, Cologne/Bonn Airport is also experiencing more time-consuming procedures in the entire operations process - whether at check-in, security control or preparing the aircraft. In the meantime, according to airport spokesman Alexander Weise, the problems at the security controls have been resolved. More staff have been hired.
Orig. text: Claudia Mahnke