Minister threatens resignation over airport chaos

 In Aviation, New Airport, News

The Minister of Internal Administration, José Luís Carneiro, has threatened to resign if there is further chaos at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado International Airport.

In an interview with Público, the minister who took office in January, stressed a “contingency team was ready to come online” when the last queues built up — and if the SEF borders agency had given the green light at the time, it could have been put in place to avoid the chaos seen during the last weekend of May.
The minister said there were no more reasons for long queues to form now that extra personnel (both SEF and PSP police) are being drafted in, and if there are queues, heads will roll.
SEF union leader Acácio Pereira said: “This is not the moment to comment”, on Luís Carneiro’s decision — but he clearly believes it makes little sense.
“The problem, as much as it may upset some people, cannot be resolved through the human resources of SEF”, he told Correio da Manhã.
As to the reinforcement of PSP agents at the airport, to help, this “simply serves to create in the eyes of the public, a false sensation of resolution, of satisfaction, nothing more. It is no way a solution, but it may minimise the damages”, he accepted.
Solving the problem would involve two changes: one long-term (a new airport): “Lisbon is more than saturated in its capacity”, says Pereira), the other logistic: “there has to be a better distribution of flights throughout the day so that agglomerations like those we have seen are avoided”.
José Luís Carneiro is certainly onboard regarding the long-term solution. “It is truly a question of national interest” said José Luís Carneiro.