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Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika in a chat with British High Commission Head of Aviation Security, Jankie Milies in his office at Abuja

FG to decongest Abuja Airport, improve aviation security

Federal Government will put in place security equipment at the domestic terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja that would enable some airlines operate from there, without hampering the ongoing restructuring and remodelling works.

This move which is aimed at decongesting the traffic at the international terminal and make surveillance easier is coming on the heels of aviation-related disasters that have ensued around the world in recent times.

Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who gave made this known in Abuja when he received a delegation from the British High Commission, led by the Head of Aviation Security, Jankie Milies in his office, said he has considered the steps necessary in view of the precarious world security situation that has put aviation under serious watch.

In a statement made available to Nigerianflightdeck and signed by Deputy Director, Press & Public Affairs of the Ministry, James Odaudu, and the Minister said that the fact that recent security challenges have been aviation-related putting the issue of aviation security on the front burner as it is one of the weakest links being exploited by terrorists.

Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika in a chat with British High Commission Head of Aviation Security, Jankie Milies in his office at Abuja
Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika in a chat with British High Commission Head of Aviation Security, Jankie Milies in his office at Abuja

This, Sirika said, is why the Ministry is trying hard to establish and aviation security system that is world standard, with the ability to work with arms, sniffer dogs, modern surveillance equipment and intelligence gathering.

Sirika also disclosed that the ministry was also working seriously towards improving the physical security of the nation’s airports, and commended the efforts of the British government, through the High Commission in Abuja, in conducting and assessment of the security situation in the nation’s airports with the aim of determining areas of possible assistance.

He informed the delegation that the Ministry had recently set up a committee for a similar purpose and currently studying its report and recommendations for implementation and called for greater collaboration between the two countries especially in the area of capacity enhancement in modern aviation security trends.

The Head of Aviation Security at the British High Commission, and leader of the delegation, Jankie Milies had earlier told the Minister that her team had undertaken an assessment of some of the nation’s airports airport with the assistance of the relevant agencies, in order to determine areas of possible assistance and discovered some challenges in cargo handling.

She said the team had one more round of assessment to do before turning in their full report that would culminate in further discussions and informed the Minister of their readiness to conduct some trainings for about 80 aviation employees drawn from the relevant agencies.

Milies also told the Minister of the readiness of the High Commission to arrange an assessment tour of the ministry’s officials to some airports in the United Kingdom to help in the development of aviation security in Nigeria, an offer the Minister accepted immediately.

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