Long queues will continue at Eindhoven airport for more than three months

Passengers leaving Eindhoven Airport will continue to face crowds at the airport for months to come, airport manager Roel Hellemons said in an interview with FD. Long queues have often extended several hundred meters beyond the airport terminal entrance in recent days, occasionally reaching the P4 long-term car park about half a kilometer away.

“The nuisance will continue until the autumn break, at the end of October. We have to be realistic,” Hellemons told the newspaper. He can see the queues building up from his desk. “The sight gives me a stomach ache every day.”

Eindhoven is the second largest airport in the Netherlands after Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam. The regional airport serves many budget airlines and is popular with holidaymakers and migrant workers traveling to various European destinations. Like Schiphol, it has also faced staffing shortages at its security checkpoints. Only three or four security lanes have been kept open on a typical day in recent months, despite the airline normally having the capacity to operate eight separate lanes to screen passengers.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the small size of the airport meant it was possible to enter the airport, drop off bags at a check-in counter and go through security in less than an hour. The newspaper noted that the airport’s 60 to 70 daily departures are now often fully booked and labor shortages persist, forcing passengers to queue for up to four hours, sometimes missing their flights in the process.

Passengers worried about missing their flights showed up at the airport far too early, blocking security lines for people whose flights depart early, he said. “When the terminal opens at half past four in the morning, hundreds of people are already waiting. We have never experienced this. »

Eindhoven Airport is paying workers an extra five euros per hour this summer to retain existing staff and attract new workers. Even then, it takes weeks for a prospective recruit to pass background checks and undergo comprehensive training for a security position. The shortage of dozens of security guards is not the result of budget cuts at airports, Hellemons said.

“We didn’t fire anyone and the same can be said of security company G4S and baggage handler Viggo. The fact is that during the coronavirus period hardly anyone started training and temporary contracts were not extended,” he told FD.

“We sat down to the table with the security company at an early stage. But the labor market is very difficult. Many security guards have on-call status. There is a high demand for security guards for festivals and events this season.

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