NIGERIA risks the rejection of cargoes from the country to Europe and the United States (U.S.) as there are indications that it is yet to comply with the European Civil Aviation Commission (ECAC) deadline to migrate from single view screening machines to the dual view devices.
From next year, all airports in the United Kingdom (UK) will insist on cargo being screened from more than one view.
As terrorists continue to devise new methods to beat security checks at airports worldwide, Europe and the U.S. are equally stepping up the fight against terrorism by deploying cutting-edge technology to counter the menace.
In matters of aviation security, events tend to trigger re-evaluation, which in turn leads to new legislation.
In that regard, 9/11 changed everything both nationally and internationally. The foiled 2006 transatlantic plot to use liquid explosives aboard numerous aircraft saw an immediate liquids ban, and last year’s foiled plot to detonate two homemade explosives concealed as freight led to aviation’s previously passenger focused security efforts turning to cargo.
The deadline for the migration is next April. All screening machines in the country’s airports are the single-view types. These have been phased out in Europe, Australia and U.S.
However, the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) has ordered the dual-view equipment, although the nation threads dangerously if it does not speedily take delivery of them for prompt deployment.
An aviation security expert, who pleaded anonymity, said failure to acquire and deploy the equipment at the country’s airports would pose a huge loss for airlines, as they would be barred from taking passengers’ baggage or cargoes from areas where the equipment were not available.
The source wondered why the tender for the purchase of new screening machines publicised in August this year had not been opened.
The new system, apart from its use for automatic threat detection for liquid, powder and solid materials, gives inspectors with two separate views of the same object on vertical and horizontal planes. It also enables them to easily identify objects on the monitor without the need of having to re-send or reposition the object.
The source told The Guardian that Nigeria needed at least eight of the equipment for its strategic airports. Each would cost N26 million.