Acsa defends airport security

The Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) assured travellers on Monday its security was up to standard after reports that a number of prohibited items had been taken on board at airports around the country.

In a statement following the Eyewitness News claims, Acsa said: “The safety and security of our passengers is right at the top of our priorities.

“The technology we use is world class and our security staff undergo regular, highly specialised training. As a result, well over 700 prohibited items are detected on a daily basis at our airports countrywide.

“The reported breach is therefore a rare occurrence.”

Acsa had made its security staff aware of the breaches so that appropriate action and improvements could be made.

“Acsa reassures passengers that it will continue to enforce stricter security measures at all its airports as part of its commitment to air travel security, now, during and after the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

“We are working closely with the various government security agencies to ensure security of airports during the Soccer World Cup.”

The radio station reported that steak knives, syringes, screwdrivers, pairs of scissors and razor blades had gone undetected, as well as a bottle containing a harmless substance, but labelled as containing a dangerous substance.

Acsa spokesperson Solomon Makgale said the airport security environment was highly regulated and was fully compliant with local and international standards.

It had the latest x-ray technology and archway metal detectors, which were the same as those used at other airports globally.

Acsa had also just completed a R165-million airport security infrastructure upgrade and used “highly trained and experienced
x-ray screeners, who use the equipment, which colour-codes and highlights the images of dangerous and prohibited items”.

These officers must also undergo training and certification to be able to work at the airports. — Sapa

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