Smooth Travel Ahead: Bulgarian Airports Prepped for Schengen Entry

Tourism | January 10, 2024, Wednesday // 08:49|  views

Bulgaria's major airports, including Sofia, Varna, Burgas, and Plovdiv, have confirmed their readiness for Bulgaria's upcoming inclusion in the Schengen area by air, slated for March 31. These airports anticipate a seamless transition, assuring improved passenger processing and reduced wait times for travelers to and from Schengen member states.

Responding to inquiries from Bulgarian media "Dnevnik," airport authorities highlighted their advanced infrastructure preparations to segregate passenger flows between "Schengen" and "non-Schengen" zones. This separation aims to significantly cut processing times, benefitting approximately two-thirds of passengers served by these airports.

Authorities affirmed that Schengen passengers would bypass airport checks, except for security measures, vastly reducing waiting times. "Fraport," overseeing Varna and Burgas airports, noted that they were already equipped to meet Schengen standards effectively, promising a decrease of about 2 minutes per passenger for Schengen arrivals and departures.

While passport and visa controls will persist for non-Schengen travelers, the process remains unchanged, ensuring similar processing durations as presently experienced.

Sofia Airport, the country's largest, assured readiness long in advance, with preparations for an overnight transition to facilitate smooth implementation. Specific measures include passport control points and dedicated corridors to segregate passengers from different travel zones within the terminals.

However, potential confusion arises concerning flight terminals due to new regulations for allocating flights between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The airports are planning proactive communication campaigns to inform passengers and minimize terminal misdirections.

Post-March 31, Schengen passengers will follow a streamlined process from check-in to boarding without passport checks, while arrivals will head directly to baggage claims without undergoing passport control. Non-Schengen travelers will undergo passport control before accessing baggage claims and exiting.

The airports, in sync with airlines, are preparing to guide passengers smoothly through these changes, ensuring a hassle-free travel experience.

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Tags: Bulgaria, airports, Schengen, passengers


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