More queues expected for Brits at airports as EES app won’t be ready in time for launch

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 24-03-2024
  • Travel
  • Photo Credit: Stock Image
More queues expected for Brits at airports as EES app won’t be ready in time for launch

The mobile app for the Entry/Exit System (EES) to EU and Schengen area countries, which is set to become effective in October this year, might not be ready on time, according to Nichola Mallon of trade body Logistics who are developing the system.

While officials from the European Union claim that the app will be ready on time, those from the United Kingdom have raised concerns that such a thing will not happen, which will cause chaos at EU-UK borders.

When asked about possible delays, the EU Commission’s spokesperson for Home Affairs, Anitta Hipper, told POLITICO that the mobile app will indeed be ready at the time the EES starts operating.

However, cross-channel transport bosses in the UK fear that this is not true. Mallon said that the app will not be ready before the summer of 2025, as the EU does not have time to fully test it before October.

EES app is to speed up border crossing and reduce queuing time

UK transport bosses believe that if the EES app is launched on time it will be a huge relief for the EU-UK border points, as without it they anticipate long queues and increased waiting times at borders in and out of EU countries for Brits.

This is because once the system is in place, non-EU citizens entering and leaving the EU territory will have to give a fingerprint and submit to facial scans at least the first time they enter the bloc. However, if the app is released on time, travellers will be able to complete most procedures online, avoiding long waits at ports and airports.

EU Also Working on ETIAS Mobile App

The EU authorities are also working on building an app for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which is set to be launched along with the system in mid-2025. The European Commission Spokesperson for home affairs, Anitta Hipper, told SchengenVisaInfo that the app is currently still under development.

Once ready, the EU Commission will launch a comprehensive communication campaign to reach the various relevant audiences. This will include information to the public about the ETIAS mobile app ahead of its adoption.