OECS programme to enhance aviation security

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OECS programme to enhance aviation security

Unread post by bimjim » Tue Jul 26, 2011


OECS programme to enhance aviation security
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua

With the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States drawing near, Antigua & Barbuda and other OECS member states are undertaking a comprehensive programme to bolster security in aviation.

The programme covers a wide range of issues including incident management and hostage negotiations, identification and detection of bombs and other explosives.

Training is currently being held on airport cargo and mail security, as well as aviation security management.

While no major incident of that nature has occurred in the sub-region, oversight officer within the Ministry of Civil Aviation Peter Abraham explained that member states could not afford to be complacent.

“I don’t think that the Americans thought at any time that they would have had (that attack) based on their capabilities. And so no country in the world can say that they’re safe from terrorism,” he explained.

“We have got to take that step in being proactive and to create the highest level of professionalism. We have also got to … strategise and to continue to be proactive in trying to mitigate the act of unlawful interference that will, if ever, try to be perpetrated in this region.”

The programme, which began last October, forms part of a three-tier initiative for which training began last October and continues next month. The most recent exercise took place last week.

Its focus includes implementation of all national programmes and plans and having them updated to meet international standards and training.

It encompasses Grenada, St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia, Dominica, and St Kitts and Nevis as well as Antigua & Barbuda.

The British Virgin Islands and Montserrat are also involved, but to a lesser extent.

“We are looking at ensuring that the region becomes a one-stop in terms of security. What I mean by that is that you would find that the level of security is on par with each other,” Abraham stated.

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