PSP detained 158 people and controlled around 10 million passengers at the air border in seven months

Between October 2023 and May 2024

The PSP detained 158 people at national airports in seven months, and refused more than 1.000 entries into Portuguese territory, this security force indicated today in an operational assessment of air border control.

The period analyzed in the report sent to the Lusa agency runs from October 29, 2023 to May 31, during which around 10 million (9.838.862) passengers were controlled at the air border.

14.497 people were intercepted, 3.227 precautionary measures were detected, 1.074 passengers were prevented from entering and 158 people were detained. 13 foreigners were detained for the crime of illegal immigration.

The PSP revealed that it received 361 requests for international protection and registered 559 document frauds.

14 cases of coercive removal and 39 of judicial expulsion were registered and 75 national and 10 international escorts were carried out.

In the summary of the report released today, the PSP specified that it currently has 900 police officers assigned to national airports, including Mainland and the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira.

“On October 29, 2023, the PSP acquired new powers in terms of border control (…). The PSP continues to commit a significant number of resources (human and material) to airport security, in order to prevent the practice of illegal acts against civil aviation”, reads the summary.

Regarding interceptions, the PSP clarifies that they are related to the control of passengers in the first line, that is, when there are, for example, doubts regarding the origin of the documents presented or whenever foreign citizens are unable to present a valid justification for entering Schengen Area.

As for arrests, the majority result from incidents related to the use of falsified or other people's documents.

Within the scope of entry refusal processes, the PSP decreed 31 measures prohibiting entry and stay in national territory because the situations constituted threats to public order and safety and national security, and, in general, entry refusals are related to the use of false or third-party documents.

Regarding support for the transit of foreign citizens separated from the Schengen Area by other Member States, the PSP provided support to 111 transit requests.

252 infraction notices were drawn up for various infractions related to the legal regime for the entry, stay, exit and removal of foreigners from the national territory.

There are nine airports controlled by the PSP: Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Madeira, S. Miguel, Terceira, Porto Santo, Santa Maria and Beja.

And, although they are not considered air border posts, the PSP carries out, “with high frequency”, border control duties at the Tires and Horta airfields.

At the same time, and depending on the classification assigned by the National Civil Aviation Authority, there are small aerodromes (and military bases) distributed throughout the national territory which, when duly authorized to process Schengen flights (non-community) or international flights, use the PSP to border controls.

Still according to this balance, in terms of management of temporary installation centers and similar spaces (CITEE), the PSP is responsible for one temporary installation center (CIT) and three spaces equivalent to temporary installation centers (EECIT), spaces located in Lisbon, Faro and Porto.

“[It is up to the PSP] to ensure, regardless of the circumstances, that [migrants] are subject to dignified treatment in terms of protecting and safeguarding human dignity and the fundamental rights of citizens”, guaranteed the PSP.

In the first four months of this year, the PSP, with the support of trainers from the Judiciary Police, taught several specialization courses, including on Air Border Control, training in which members of the Cape Verde National Police also participated.

The intensive security and document fraud course for PSP, PJ and GNR military police officers was taught by experts from the National Police Corps of the Kingdom of Spain.

By the end of 2024, the PSP intends to teach three more Air Border Control courses, concludes this police.