By Chinedu Eze
The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (nahco aviance) has installed cargo screening system consisting of cargo screening machine and anti-bomb equipment at the export cargo section of its warehouse.
This was in response to the high terror tension in the world of air transport and the threat in the country,
The Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren who commissioned the equipment worth N68 million at the weekend, said the new equipment was a giant leap in the fight against trans-border terrorism.
“With equipment like this, we are safer, the traveling public and businesses can have some peace of mind,” he said during the commissioning that was attended by officers of airport Security agencies and other stakeholders in the industry.
Demuren said the company’s investment in security has buoyed the government’s efforts at carrying out 24-hour secure airport operations, which attracts foreign investment and makes Nigeria the regional hub for West Africa.
“We want to open up Nigeria. We operate 24 hours passenger terminal, but on the cargo side, cargo aircraft operate mainly at night. I have discussed with my friends (in FAAN, Immigration, Customs, nahco aviance and SAHCOL) to see how we can expand and make Nigeria the hub.
“The planes want to drop cargo and leave. But now, they drop the cargo on the tarmac and I’m not happy about that. I want them to move cargo into your shed where it is safe and not on the tarmac where they may be tampered with.
“Now that we have this (screening machines), we are safe and it is better for all of us. With effective screening system like this, terrorists have no place.”
Speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, Mr. Kayode Oluwasegun-Ojo said that the company is committed to safety of its operations and it would spare no effort to ensure the safety and security of its activities, adding that all stations where nahco aviance operates would also benefit from the gesture.
He said the screening machine is highly functional being a dual-view system.
“The major different between what this machine does and others is that others are single view, so it is possible for example, to use paper to shield an item and what you see looks like paper and this has serious implication for security.
“But this one has dual views, and it would give you complete view of an item in addition to the fact that when the old scanners were made, we were not exposed to the kind of risk we have now. And the kind of explosives we had then were different from what we have now. This can actually detect liquid.”
The system is made up of The Rapiscan 632DV installed at the Export shed of the warehouse and MO-2M hand held explosive vapour to be used at the import section.
Nahco aviance explained that the Rapiscan 632DV is a newer technology from the H-series of the security equipment.
“ It has two perpendicular views which make it possible to view from both sides. It provides a more complete perspective of scanned items, regardless of their orientation in the X-ray system, thus reducing the need to reposition and re-scan pallets, thereby improving detection and throughput. The dual view system is also capable of detecting liquid explosives.”
The MO-2M handheld explosive vapor detectors, the ground handling company explained are meant to detect explosive substances in all hand luggage such as letters, parcels, clothes, furniture, building, offices. It also operates as explosive trace detector.
Already, some members of staff of the company have been trained on the new equipment.
Nahco aviance’s operations were recently certified when IATA re-issued the company with the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) earlier this year.
The company is currently investing about N2 billion on the provision of state-of-the-art equipment made up of various types of Ground Support Equipment (GSE).
It is also investing the same amount of money in the expansion and modernization of its warehouse to bring it to world standards.