The Canarian delegations of the Unified Association of Guardia Civil (AUGC), one of the many unionised associations that represent their members among the Spanish Civil Guard, have said, in a statement last week, that the Guardia Civil’s General Directorate should increase the workforce at the main airports of the Canary Islands archipelago by a magnitude of five or six times the current deployment, so as to be able to guarantee they can effectively deal with the entry into force of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, which means that a greater need for control will have to be exercised over citizens who come to the islands from that country. They say there will be more Guardia Civil needed to meet the demand for extra controls required for third country nationals.
It should be remembered, says the AUGC, that passport controls (which is the responsibility of the Policia Nacional) and baggage control (which is administered and overseen by the Guardia Civil) following Brexit will come into force as of October 1, so the administrations should plan appropriate actions before generating excessive delays and hold ups at the islands’ aerodromes, if similar levels of tourism activity to those prior to covid-19 are to resume, then there will be more Guardia Civil needed to ensure requirements are being met.
The provincial general secretary of the AUGC in the province of Las Palmas, Juan Couce, explained that, in addition, there is currently a significant deficit of agents in the terminals with the most traffic in the Autonomous Community. For example, Gran Canaria airport, at Gando, which ranks fifth in terms of volume of passengers and goods in all of Spain, has the same number of agents as there were in 1990. For this reason, and despite the application of technological elements, in his opinion it is necessary to increase the presence of security corps officials.
For the AUGC, of the ten airports with the highest volume of activity in the whole of Spain, half of them are in The Canaries: Gran Canaria, Tenerife South, Tenerife North, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. In the case of Gando, at the moment, less than twenty Guardia Civil are expected to control all passengers and goods arriving from outside the European Union, according to Couce, who makes clear that this is the same number of professionals deployed at Almería Airport for this function, which ranks number 35, throughout all Spain, in its amount of activity.
— AUGC Guardia Civil (@AUGC_Comunica) January 13, 2021