Airport Security Gets Once-Over

By Rian Dewanto
The Bali Times

bali-airport.jpgRENON ~ Ngurah Rai International Airport held a two-day emergency preparedness exercise this week, to test airport security in the face of possible attacks and to scrutinize the performance of staff, who have been criticized by the Bali Police for not being up to the job.

“Without prior warning, we launched in incident in which the airport was apparently under attack. We wanted to test the effectiveness of the airport security at any given moment,” Akhmad Munir, spokesman for airport operator PT. Persero Angkasa Pura I, told The Bali Times.

Taking part as the exercise kicked off on Tuesday were hundreds of staff from airport security, the immigration department, police and Air Force, who were informed that a bomb threat had been received by the airport.

The separate agencies and departments then swiftly coordinated with each other and the airport operator, and secured the facility, said Munir.

Airport chief Muhammad Fuschad said the operation, following a similar one in January last year, would help the authorities to devise a contingency plan in case of an emergency.

“The idea of this exercise is to create a contingency plan, and therefore it has become a routine,” he told The Times separately.

“All the different areas are now coordinating even better in taking security measures,” he said.

Following recent thefts allegedly by security officers of items from luggage at the airport, Bali Police have said the airport authorities need to hire more capable staff.

“We will take any criticism as suggestions to improve our services,” Fuschad said, adding: “We have learned to screen people better to fill the positions within our security staff.

“We have also improved in terms of experience and equipment. Now we have more staff with proper compliance standards, more X-Ray equipment. We have also enforced the fences, added more lighting and are conducting more patrols.”

According to the human resources department of PT. Angkasa Pura I, currently there are 723 security personnel employed at the airport.

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