BTA News

Passport Check to be Removed as of March 31 for Bulgarian Citizens Flying to Schengen Countries

As of March 31, Bulgarian citizens travelling to a Schengen country by air will not be subject to a passport check but only to an airport security check. This stems from Bulgaria’s entry in the Schengen Area by air at the end of March, outgoing Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov told reporters here on Tuesday. He was inspecting the readiness of Border Police Regional Directorate – Airports for the introduction of the new border control regime. Bulgaria is completely ready, he noted.

Anton Zlatanov, head of the Border Police Chief Directorate, said the fact that the compulsory border control is lifted for some countries does not mean the security measures at airports are reduced. “We begin to rely more on risk analysis and operational activity, and all airports get divided into a Schengen and non-Schengen zone. The Schengen zone plays a role for flights within the border-free area.

If security bodies find it necessary, they have the right to check passengers. Persons aged between 14 and 18 can travel alone, without a declaration from a parent agreeing on their child leaving Bulgaria, if the trip is within Schengen.

Sofia Airport said that the existing passport control desks will be removed on March 31, meaning that after the check-in, passengers will undergo a luggage check and then go to the corresponding gate. Boarding on flights to Schengen countries will be done via gate sleeves.

There will be no passport checks also for passengers travelling to Switzerland or transiting through a non-Schengen country to get to a Schengen country. Passengers flying to a non-Schengen country via a Schengen country undergo a passport check in the first country of departure, Sofia Airport specified.