Starting this week, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is deploying its first Standing Corps Return Team to support return activities at Italy’s Fiumicino Airport, in support and under the coordination of the local authorities.
The Return Teams consist of Frontex Standing Corps officers performing ground support in returns, including those transiting from other EU Member States, and occasionally escorting tasks in return operations.
The 11 standing corps members deployed at the Rome Fiumicino Airport have completed a two-week specialised training at Frontex and attended additional training organised by the Italian Authorities. Frontex plans to post other Return Teams at other main EU airports in the coming months.
This first deployment of a Return Team highlights the benefits of the newly established European Border and Coast Guard standing corps, as well as the growing role of Frontex in providing operational assistance to EU Member States in the field of return.
Last year, despite numerous restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Frontex assisted in returning more than 12 000 people not entitled to remain in the EU upon decision of the relevant national authorities. This was one of every five people returned, or twice the rate from the previous years.