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The Cairo airport bomb scare
The news filtered into the aviation industry of how in faraway Cairo in Egypt, the country’s airport authorities announced a state of emergency in order to carry out extensive bomb-detection procedures following a bomb threat on an airplane heading to the Nigerian city of Lagos.
According to Ahram Online reports, “after passengers had boarded the plane, a cabin crew member discovered a bomb warning on the mirror of the plane’s bathroom, propelling airport security to search the plane again and announce a state of general emergency. The 46 passengers aboard the plane were evacuated as security services also ordered all baggage to be searched a second time.”
When the news filtered in, many key players in the industry expressed deep worry and sadness over what they described as the negative security effect this will have on the country’s aviation industry.
For these people, their worries are actually understood for some reasons. The implication of the sad development is that Nigeria’s name may now be synonymous with bombing which has not exempted the sensitive aviation sector.
There is no doubt that with the alert in Cairo, last week, that the authorities at the airport must have further beefed up their security and searchlight particularly on all Nigeria bound airplanes.
Under this condition, one can imagine the experience the innocent travellers coming into Nigeria through such airports will be subjected to in the hands of the security operatives.
This is not actually the best of times for the Nigerian travelling public as this kind of frisking will surely await them in any airport across the globe once the security operatives there get to know that such flights are Nigeria bound.
At this point, the various security operatives cannot be blamed. After all, they have heard of the everyday bombings that now take place in Nigeria and with threats by those behind such bombings to extend it to aviation.
However, with last week’s episode in Cairo, it has now become more necessary for the federal government to beam its searchlight on not only airports but on inbound and outbound flights as it has become obvious that those behind these ungodly acts are not relenting.
The Cairo’s experience should be seen as a wake-up call for the government, including the aviation authorities that there is an urgent need to ensure that all security apparatus at the airports are functioning perfectly and not a case where the security cameras installed at the airports will work today and not work the following day.
Since it has now become sure that the bombers are doing everything possible to carry their wicked acts to aviation, no stone should be left unturned to frustrate them.
Even though it was not sure whether the incident in Cairo was a bomb scare or real, the fact remains that aviation authorities elsewhere are now aware that all is not too well at home here hence, they will not take any chances.
It is at this juncture that the Crucial Moment is urging government to further focus more attention on the industry by putting all security gadgets on ground capable of detecting any evil plan by any undesirable elements.
Beside this, the aviation agencies led by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) should seriously reduce the number of those coming to the airport without having serious functions to play there.
Having access to the restricted parts of the airport particularly the airside should only be for the relevant officials who should be well trained against any compromise.
If it is true that the security cameras installed at the airports are not actually functioning, the government should urgently step into this and make amends in order not to be caught unawares.
The sad experience of the September 11, 2000 attack on the United States is still fresh and it is since then that the US government has made its aviation sector one of its top priorities.
Therefore government here should ensure an adequate funding of aviation safety and security which must be properly monitored to ensure such funds do not end up in individual pockets.
For the Nigerian travelling public, they should expect more frisking at the various airports around the world in view of the happenings at home hence when they are faced with such conditions, they can only cooperate but one thing is that such conditions are just temporary.Share