CAA steps–up airport security

The Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced it will install 14 more surveillance cameras at Kigali International Airport in an effort to step up its response to recent recommendations by the world’s leading aviation authority.

The Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced it will install 14 more surveillance cameras at Kigali International Airport in an effort to step up its response to recent recommendations by the world’s leading aviation authority.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation suggested the RCAA install cameras three years ago.

As a result, 14 cameras were set up in strategic positions at the passenger terminal building. The additional 14 will be installed across airfields and runways.

The new cameras will enhance the police’s capacity to detect the smuggling of weapons, explosives, and drugs. “There is simply no better way to monitor operations at the airport and ensure safety of passengers.  Cameras are cost-effective gargets to deter criminals from the airport. Two or three people can monitor the entire airport,” reads a statement from the CAA operations department.

“During investigations CAA will easily fall back on the recordings.”   The CAA also announced that the high security alert campaign will be rolled out to upcountry aerodromes, as more of them will be equipped to handle increasing traffic. Kamembe airport will be a top priority.

Fencing off facilities to bar wandering animals should be the next step in Rwanda’s efforts to improve its airports, according a top CAA official, who did not want to be named because he was afraid to comment on a proposal that is currently before cabinet. He said the measure would keep people safe by preventing them from crossing airstrips to access nearby grazing lands for their livestock.

Perimeter fence
While Ministers debate, the government will go through with a plan to install a new perimeter fence at Kigali International Airport.

The CAA also plans to build an 18-kilometre ring road within the airport’s perimeter to help the police conduct patrols. RDF troops will assist police by patrolling the outside of the airport.  The authority plans to implement a new aviation security plan, but the unnamed official would not reveal details.

“We have drafted the proposal; drawn the budget to have own security,” he said.

Bird strikes
The unnamed CAA official said collisions between planes and birds, once a problem at the airport, have been less common in recent years. He said around-the-clock clearing of runways by the bird hazard unit has been effective.

The most recent collision occurred when a Rwandair flight was taking off for Bujumbura. “The bird hit the plane on the nose. But it was a minor incidence,” said the official.

The birds are attracted by termites and ants that come during the rainy season, according to a report from the Endangered Wildlife Trust, a South Africa-based firm.
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