Today, a Frontex plane landed in Lille to start operating in the Channel and North Sea coastal region in response to the increased migratory pressure in the area.
The Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri decided to deploy a plane to support French and Belgian authorities following the ministerial meeting in Calais on Sunday, 28 November.
The Frontex plane has been provided by Denmark. Its crew is highly experienced and has already been deployed to other Frontex operations, most recently in Spain. The plane is equipped with modern sensors and radars to support border control at land and sea. On board, there will be liaison officers from the relevant authorities to support the crew and facilitate quick and efficient decision-making.
“The evolution of the situation in the Channel is a matter of concern. Upon the request from Member States, Frontex deployed a plane in France to support them with aerial surveillance in just three days,” says Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri.
“We are starting with one plane, but we stand ready to reinforce our support if needed,” he added.
The aim of the operation on the coastline is to prevent the rising number of sea crossings. Recently, this route has experienced a high number of illegal crossings, facilitated by criminal networks that put the lives of migrants in danger.