Enterprise Television- Security Threat: FAAN Begins Profiling of Airport Personnel
In order to forestall security breach and incursions, the nation’s airports the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has started profiling workers who provide services at the various terminals of the major airports in the country.
It was learnt that this was in response to the recent unconfirmed reports of alleged pilferage of bags on taxing business jets on the runway of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
The airport management also said it was determined to prevent any action that could compromise security at any of the nation’s airports, including insider threat, which investigations revealed has been responsible for the bombing of aircraft and terrorist access to some airports in different parts of the world in the last few years.
Presently, all personnel who work at all the private jet terminals, the construction workers at the airside of all the major airports in the country and all other workers who are not substantive staff of government agencies, airline and handling companies are subjected to profiling before they access the airport terminals, especially the airside of the airports.
Also, FAAN has started quarterly security screening of Aviation Security (AVSEC) personnel and has introduced a policy that no staff would serve in one post for more than three months.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) set up a committee to investigate the alleged theft on the airport runway of the Lagos airport but when the committee wanted to hear from those who reported the theft none showed up. But we have taken proactive measures to fortify our airports and henceforth we must profile all the personnel who work at those private terminals.
“Although we used to do this before, so we just resumed and from the feedback we have been getting, it is those who are against the strict security measures that we have taken that are spreading the rumours of theft on the runway. So far we have not been able to confirm any of the allegations, although investigation is still on-going,” a top official of FAAN Said.
Without comprehensive security and perimeter fencing at many of the major airports in the country, it was learnt that trespassers, miscreants and bandits could gain access to many of these airports and past experience has indicated that due to porous nature of the airport fences some host communities extend their farmland to the airports and most airports have small tracks which serve as thoroughfare to the villagers who live around the airport.
A retired security operative with FAAN said that this was overlooked in the past but at the present era of terror attacks, the agency has taken measures to prevent host communities from having access to the airport environment.
Also security expert and secretary of Aviation Round Table (ART), Group Captain John Ojikutu said that the major setback to fortifying security at the airports is the lack of security and perimeter
fencing, the regular training and retraining of aviation security personnel and recruitment of adequate number of security personnel to man the airports.