The first passengers to cross the Latvian border at the airport without border control arrived on the Latvian airline airBaltic’s Helsinki – Riga flight which landed at 09:45.
During a ceremony organised in honour of this event, Krišjānis Peters, Chairman of the Board, SJSC Riga International Airport; Mareks Segliņš, Minister for the Interior; and Ainārs Šlesers, Minister for Transport demolished the final border that separated Latvia from the other Schengen Treaty (i.e. European Union) member states.
Riga International Airport’s Chairman of the Board, Krišjānis Peters stressed that: “The Schengen Treaty gives air passengers the chance to enjoy faster and more convenient travel and enables them to move freely within the Schengen territory without having to experience the inconvenience of border control procedures. The Schengen Treaty has had a positive impact on the development of air travel and will result in the increase of passengers passing through Riga International Airport. Latvia’s accession to the Schengen Treaty will accelerate the growth of tourism. For Riga Airport, it will mean interest on the part of new airlines and, in turn, for passengers: a broader range of destinations and airlines.
Back in January, Riga successfully introduced the control of passenger documents and security in accordance with the requirements of the Schengen Treaty. This enabled the division of passengers between those travelling to airports in Schengen Treaty member states and those travelling elsewhere. Minister for the Interior, Mareks Segliņš praised the co-operation with Riga Airport in the implementation of the Schengen requirements.
Arrival Sector 1 (to the left of the central entrance at the airport) serves passengers from Schengen Treaty member states, whilst Arrival Sector 2 (to the right of the central entrance at the airport) serves passengers arriving from countries which have not joined the Schengen Treaty.
Departure Sector A (to the left of the central entrance at the airport) and Departure Sector C (to the right of the central entrance at the airport) serves passengers who are travelling to non-Schengen countries, whilst Departure Sector B (to the left of the central entrance at the airport) serves passengers who are travelling to Schengen member states.
Work involving the construction of a transit corridor was completed in February. Built for the convenience of passengers, it connects flight Departure Sector C with flight Departure Sectors A and B. Border control points are located by the transit corridor, as well as in flight Departure Sector A which serves passengers who are travelling to countries which are not Schengen member states.
The Schengen Treaty enables the free travel of residents within each of the 24 Schengen member states: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Iceland, and Malta.