ACI EUROPE, IATA, A4E, and ERA have welcomed the move to defer the implementation of the entry-exit system (EES), a new smart border system for non-European Union (EU) nationals.

Although EES is considered a game changer for how the EU’s borders are managed, the aviation industry believes some issues must be addressed in order to ensure a smooth rollout and avoid disruptions for air passengers.

Some of the issues that need to be addressed include the wider adoption and effective implementation of automation at national border crossing points by national authorities.

Besides, it will require funding from the member states to ensure the deployment of trained staff and resources especially at the airports.

A public communication campaign is also recommended to alert third-country nationals to the new requirements.

According to ACI Europe press release: “The aviation industry is fully behind the rollout of EES and is committed to working with the EU and national authorities for a successful implementation.

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“But it is important the EU and national authorities address industry concerns and provide efficient coordination for effective implementation.

“This includes EU-LISA (the agency responsible for managing the system) strengthening its communications with the industry, and with international partners such as the US, to ensure the IT systems are connected and compatible.”

The industry has suggested postponement of EES after the busy 2023 summer period, as it would give airlines, airports, EU, and national authorities the opportunity to resolve these issues and ensure the system is fully tested.

It added that building traveller confidence with an effective rollout of EES is critical for the aviation sector as it continues its recovery.