Recently, Dublin Airport has been dealing with massive delays in baggage handling and many passengers are dealing with lost baggage. Ireland’s Department of Transport said holders of Brazilian driving licenses cannot drive airside unless they obtain an Irish licence.
Worsening of an ongoing situation
The ban on Brazilian driving licenses in Ireland means that many baggage handlers who work for companies like Swissport and Sky Handling Partner cannot drive. This ban will cause more delays for passengers.
Photo: Dublin Airport Authority
The Irish authorities told these workers that in order to be able to drive they had to apply for an Irish licence. Currently, several Brazilian employees work airside at Dublin Airport. These workers tried to accommodate the demand for luggage at the airport. However, recent scenes at Dublin Airport show a dire situation.
In Terminal 1, heaps of bags are piled up against a wall, awaiting the return of their owners. Last August, Simple Flying reported that Sky Handling Partner, one of the airport’s ground operating companies, put lost bags in a dumpster for disposal.
The Dublin Airport Authority said in a statement in August:
“Baggage handling at #DublinAirport is performed by individual airlines or their local ground handling agent at the airport. Daa does not employ any baggage handling staff and has no information regarding missing baggage.”
A Fine Gael politician, Brendan Griffin TD, became aware of the licensing problem after helping a Ukrainian family with their lost luggage at Dublin Airport. He said the Department for Transport had made it clear to those working at the airport that an Irish or EU license was required to drive there, like any other public road.
What’s next for workers?
For Ground Handlers to be permitted to drive, they must apply for an Irish Driving License. Usually, anyone wishing to obtain a license must complete 12 lessons and pass a test. However, since the handlers have a Brazilian license, they can take six and then request a test.
Mr Griffin said:
“If they have a full driving license from their own country, they can take six driving lessons instead of the usual 12 lessons and apply for an accelerated test. If you state that you need it for professional purposes, you can get it very quickly.”
However, Dublin Airport’s director of ground operations told a meeting of the Oireachtas Transport Committee in July that those handlers would likely get their licenses by Christmas due to a major backlog in tests and lessons. In addition, the director said the government should increase the “pool of drivers” allowed to drive in Ireland.
The Minister of State for the Department for Transport, Ms Hildigrade Naughton TD, said:
“The Department has informed Dublin Airport that Ireland does not have a license exchange agreement with Brazil, so these resident license holders cannot legally drive here on Irish roads or side track with their Brazilian permits.”
What do you think of the situation? Have you been affected by the crisis at Dublin airport? Comments below
Source: Business post