Baggage scanners replace manual checks at airports
• NCAA meets Delta Airlines over safety concerns
Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is set to deploy upgraded baggage scanner machine to international airports in the country. The move, which has begun with the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, is to prevent security breach following the suspension of multiple manual checks at the airport.
In a related development, Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Capt. Muhtar Usman, has met with the American Transportation Security Administration (TSA) over the implementation of Federal Government’s Executive Order as it relates to Delta Airlines operations at MMIA, Lagos.
The meeting, which held in Lagos, was to harmonise details of the Executive Order with the airlines’ procedure to manually screen all U.S.-bound passengers. The Astrophysics Baggage Scanner, manufactured in California, United States, has been test ran at the Lagos airport. It is being used as a pilot phase for other installations at international airports in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Kaduna.
The Guardian learnt that the scanner has capacity to detect explosives, narcotics and other prohibited items without officials of various agencies dipping hands in travellers’ baggage.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government recently issued Executive Orders in support of the ease of doing business in the country. One of the orders mandated “the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment”.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, said his interest was to ensure the airports are safe and secure, protect lives and provide machines of immense benefits to airlines and stakeholders.
Dunoma said: “This scanner is intended to complement the Executive Order recently issued, by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. And also assist the operations of other agencies at the airport, making them more efficient.
“Our intent is to deploy these scanners to our international airports but this depends on the outcome of its performance in Lagos,” Dunoma said. Supplier of the machine, Akin Mustapha, explained that the scanner has high penetration steel and can detect explosives and narcotics.
Mustapha said it has six colour generation and that enables it to do a proper analysis of objects that go into it, better than others.
“It is highly reliable and very sensitive. In other airports around the world, they are taking away other machines and replacing them with this machine (Astrophysics) for upgrade and efficiency.
“With superior image quality and innovative features including Six Color Imaging for increased object identification and Screener Assist for automatic programmable detection, Astrophysics provides operators with the advanced tools required for quick and reliable airport screening,” he said.