Airports in Croatia enter Schengen regime – here are the changes
- by croatiaweek
- in News
Croatia joined the Schengen area on 1 January 2023. Controls where Croatia borders with Schengen countries on land and sea were removed in 1 January 2023, whilst controls at airports will be removed from midnight tonight.
From 26 March, airports in Croatia will enter the Schengen regime. This will allow passengers to avoid waiting at the border control.
All flights to and from Schengen member countries are, from Sunday, treated as domestic flights. This means that there will no longer be border control upon departure and arrival, and it will also be easier for passengers flying from Croatia with layovers, as it will no longer be necessary to go through border control every time they get off the plane.
The Schengen Area, a pact between countries to abolish passport and other types of border checks for those travelling between their territories, currently comprises of 22 EU member states and four countries outside the Union.
Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Ireland will be the only EU nations not part of the Schengen Area. Non-EU nations Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are included in the Schengen Area.
When it comes to documents, we expect that both Schengen and the euro area will be added value in the context of preparations for the new tourist season – said Croatian PM Andrej Plenković.
There is no more border crossing. So, after check-in or online check-in and handing over luggage, passengers will go through a security check and then immediately go to the terminal for their flight. It will be the same in the airports of other member states. When you land in Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, you enter as a citizen of that country, without any controls, Mate Melvan, head of the passenger reception and dispatch service at Split Airport, explained to 24sata.
Changes at airports
At the Zagreb’s Franjo Tuđman Airport, the waiting area for domestic departures become the waiting area for Schengen departures and have been expanded. The departure passport control counters will be moved from the third floor of the terminal to the second floor. The rest of the airport is intended for traffic to Schengen member states.
Given that the project for the reconstruction and extension of the passenger terminal at Split Airport, completed in 2019, contained all the criteria and conditions necessary for entry into the Schengen area, the airport says that no major changes are needed in the area, and the only the activity is moving the border control desks/houses to another location in the departures area of the passenger terminal, HRT writes.
Dubrovnik Airport is carrying out infrastructure works in the arrivals area of the passenger terminal for passengers from destinations outside Schengen and third countries, as well as preparations for the introduction of the so-called EES (entry/exit system) system, which should be applied from this year.
Rijeka Airport has invested 15 to 20 thousand euros for the necessary infrastructure investments, noting that the border control points for arriving passengers will remain in their positions, and will be used only for passengers coming from countries outside the Schengen area. The flows of departing passengers from the European Union and those outside it will be separated by the installation of partitions.
Osijek airport does not expect any significant procedural and operational changes because all its regular flights are within Schengen, and they also emphasise that the reconstruction of the passenger building that has begun includes Schengen rules and now, like other airports, they are adjusting the conditions with certain preparatory work already done.