Monday 28 November 2022

Aeris and Immigration rule out that long lines at the airport are related to the pandemic

Incidents responded to system failure and increased visitors

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QCOSTARICA – Attention to the flow of passengers at the Juan Santamaría airport has not been impacted as a result of the pandemic, say those in charge of watching over traffic in the terminal.

This year the Juan Santamaría International (San Jose) Airport has served an average traffic of 245 thousand passengers per month, well below pre-pandemic numbers

Rather, the complaints of long lines at the immigration posts and other areas of the terminal reported in recent months are related to a specific failure in Internet connection and the increase in the influx of passengers.

For example, the agglomeration of people reported on July 13 coincided with the rebound in the arrival of tourists to the country due to the start of the summer holidays in the United States.

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To address this situation, the airport concessionaire Aeris, incorporated additional personnel to ensure the application of health protocols despite the high concentration of people.

“The progress in the health situation and the same responses from the attraction markets for Costa Rica led us to the need to reinforce respect for each of the health measures and signs that govern within the air terminal. For this reason, we incorporated additional personnel,”, explained Juan Belliard, Aeris Operations Director.

Long lines had also been reported on June 14, but on that occasion, it was due to a failure in the system used by Immigration.

Apparently, a cluster managed by Racsa (state Internet provider) would have been the culprit of the incident, since the internal systems of Immigration had not suffered failures for a considerable period of time, defended Raquel Vargas, director of Costa Rica’s immigration service, the Dirección de Migración y Extranjería (DGME).

Yet another incident with the connection also affected the airport operation on April 27, this time due to a failure in the Internet systems, which also affected the service provided by the airlines.

The start of the summer vacation in the United States caused long lines on July 13, but it was an isolated case.

“It is important to mention that to carry out its work, the DGME must make use of other institutions’ systems, in addition, it makes use of the network accesses provided by the airport,” said Vargas.

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Those in charge of the operation of the air terminal also rule out that the long queues respond to lack of personnel.

This, since it maintains the operating standards of 150 officers to serve the average traffic of 245 thousand people per month this year, which is equivalent to one official for 54 daily passengers, on average.

“The Immigration staff is adjusted according to the distribution of flights previously coordinated by Aeris and the General Directorate of Civil Aviation,” added Vargas.

The document review time for each of the passengers is 3 minutes on average, although this process is very personal for each.

Aeris says it has added additional staff to facilitate protocol compliance. They are identified by a yellow vest.
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The Aeris-Civil Aviation coordination also ensures that the number of people does not exceed the capacity allowed in the terminal and endangers the application of health protocols, according to Belliard.


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