Monday 3 December 2012

Britain trains Nigerian aviation personnel.

Sky Watch Nigeria.

The United Kingdom on Friday completed a four-day training for personnel in the Nigeria aviation sector on the use of Explosive Trace Detectors (ETD) being installed across major international airports in the country. The initiative, which was conceived and carried out by the British government, is aimed at securing lives and property of travelers and users of the airports. The explosive detectors are being fitted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos; the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; the Port Harcourt International Airport; Rivers State; and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

"Nigeria remains an important air-bridge to the UK and we are keen to facilitate the legitimate movement of people in both directions," said Robin Gwynn, deputy high commissioner of the British embassy in Nigeria during the closing ceremony of the training programme for aviation personnel held at the training school of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in Lagos.

"But both our governments are also determined to work together to preempt and frustrate those who seek to do us harm. Once identified, including through programmes like this in the use of state-of-the-art equipment, the full powers of the law can be applied," said Mr. Gwynn.

He disclosed that his government is delighted in partnering with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, adding that this is supposed to provide maximum protection and mutual assistance for both nations.

Aviation Authority reacts

Commenting on the development, Harold Demuren, director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) noted that since the Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab Saga, the Nigeria aviation sector has been on red alert in combating against every inflow of explosives at airports in the country.

Mr. Demuren admitted that with the initiative and the level of security inherent at international airports in the country, it would be "extremely difficult if not impossible" for any traveller to smuggle an explosive substance into an aircraft.

"Today will mark a day of history in this industry; since the December 25, 2009 incidence which was carried out by Abdulmutallab, we have put in concerted efforts to dispel all forms of terror and the transit of explosives across our airports. During that period our equipment could not detect explosives, but today our airports will be seen as places where any from of threat will be detected," he said.

The NCAA boss assured that Nigeria will not encounter such incidence again given the level of aviation security intrinsic across airports in the country.

"Before now, we have four layers of checking and screening before any traveler boards an aircraft and with this, there will be an enormous enhancement," he said, adding "our aim is that the event of 25 December, 2009 will not happen again."


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