The Airport Chief of Security, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Adeboye Olayinka, has stated that Aviation Security (AVSEC) contributed greatly to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) security audit of Nigeria’s airports, where the country scored 93.02 per cent.
Recalled that a team from ICAO conducted a security audit on nation’s aviation security system from June 1-9, 2015, after which the team of auditors revealed that Nigeria performed excellently in the 9 – day audit.
This is just as he also said that AVSEC performed credibly well when the United States, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) visited the country, adding that the body now visits Nigeria almost every two months.
He said this while speaking as the chief host at Aviation Security Department, Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA),Lagos ,2015 Annual Department Seminar and Lecture with the theme, “Sustaining A Secure and Vibrant Aviation Sector” at the conference Hall international wing of MMA yesterday.
He disclosed that the last time the body visited Nigeria; it concluded that the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) has secured and safe environment and that it would recommend the airport to Americans.
The Airport Chief of Security commended AVSEC personnel for performing their duties excellently despite the dearth of manpower, adding that while others were always with their families, AVSEC personnel and other security agents left their families at home to ensure that airports across the country are safe and secured.
The Airport Security boss told the gathering that now that the airport is safe and secured, what should be on everybody’s mind is how to sustain what has been achieved.
Also speaking, the Regional Manager, South West, Solomon Odugbemi noted that security threats across the globe has become sophisticated and that terrorism has gone haywire ,commending security agencies for play their roles to make airport and its environment safe.
Odugbemi pointed out that airport all over the world is about the movement of air passengers and goods safely from one point to the other, adding that no passenger wants to fly in unsafe and unsecured airports and that as a result it is the responsibility of AVSEC and other security agencies to collectively make airports safe and secured.
According to him, “We have done well; security agencies but we should sustain and secure the environment we have created.”
Speaking further and obviously referring to AVSEC, said, “I know what it is to miss your family, leave your comfort zones and report to your duty posts even during public holidays.”
On his part, the Commissioner of Police, Airport Police Command BY Victory Menta stated that the global aviation industry was no longer considered a safe, non-political universal transportation system of moving goods and people safely from one place to another but rather a potential liability that exposes nations to all kinds of security threats including terrorism and insider threats.
Menta said this while presenting a paper titled, “Terrorism and Insider Threats In And Around The Nigerian Airports: Insight, Challenges and Recommendations.”
Menta, who was represented by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, in charge of Operations, Airport Command, Mr Chuks Enwonwu, quoting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States said that terrorism as the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
To buttress his point, he listed some examples of terrorists’ activities around certain international airports to include: the 2007 Russian Domodedovo Airport suicide bombing, that killed 37 people and where 173 others hospitalised and the 2007 John F. Kennedy(JFK) International Airport attack plot by an Islamic terrorist, who plotted to blow up a system of jet fuel supply tanks and pipelines that feed fuel to JFK Airport in Queens New York,
However, Enwonwu said that in the Nigeria airports, the chances of success or failure for a terrorist to launch a successful strike in the air are greatly predetermined by what takes place on land.
He pointed out that airport security to a great extent forms the greatest hurdle for a successful terrorist attack and thus remains the best and often times last option for a terrorist attack to be easily identified and thwarted.
“It may interest you to know that if a tout can infiltrate sensitive and restricted areas of the airport without being thwarted, a terrorist can, in most likelihood, do the same. An insider’s cruel act is therefore more challenging to detect and thwart. ”he said
He called for a collective approach towards securing safer and more secured airports.