Airport incident outrageous and unacceptable
Reports had reached the GSD which were then confirmed by GBC, that British passport holding passengers from Gibraltar airport on their onward journey to catch a diverted flight from Malaga had been refused access by Spanish police. The reports suggested that the reason for this refusal was because the boarding cards showed the departure from Gibraltar and not Malaga.
“The actions of the Spanish authorities have to be condemned in the strongest terms. This incident is not good at various levels; primarily at a human but also, potentially, diplomatic and economic level given the dependence Gibraltar has on a properly functioning airport. It also smacks of the recent occasion when diplomatic correspondence, diverted by land through the Spanish frontier, was inexplicably held up at the Spanish side for a number of days.” said Damon Bossino for the GSD.
We note the Government’s press statement issued today but it is lacking in detail as to how the situation arose in the first place. Has the matter been taken up with the Spanish authorities? Is there now a protocol in place to deal with a situation which is likely to happen again – as Gibraltar flights will inevitably have non-Schengen nationals on board – to prevent any further repeats? Who issued the ‘replacement boarding cards’ as referred to by the Government?
Whether this is an unfortunate incident of the officers on the ground being over-zealous in performing their duties or a part of a diplomatic tightening of the screws, the fact is that there has been a huge inconvenience and disruption visited upon innocent passengers – one of whom was a 4 month old baby flying to London for heart treatment.
This behaviour is depressingly outrageous and unacceptable and is a far cry from the confidence building mood music which should be a prelude to the agreement meant to usher in a period of shared prosperity.