…locals being trained by US authorities
Government has endorsed enhancing security at the Cheddi Jagan International
Airport (CJIA) and Ogle Aerodrome.
Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn, during the opening ceremony for the Airport Risk Mitigation workshop yesterday morning, admitted that review of the situation at both facilities indicates that “we are not meeting the minimum standards.”
The Control Tower, Timehri, is the venue for the three-day interactive session, which is collaboration between the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the United States of America security watchdog – Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The workshop is an advanced technical assistance programme designed to assist foreign airport stakeholders in conducting a risk assessment to identify areas as it relates to their security posture, a Government statement said yesterday.
Benn told the participants that “we are not yet accorded with, mitigated to, the threats we are faced with…we need to take a hard look at ourselves,” he said.
The official pointed out that the September 11, 2001 acts of terrorism in the US have impacted security operations worldwide. Airport security officials have to synergize and create linkages to improve their capabilities.
“The Government of Guyana is cognizant of these challenges. You have to make the utmost use of such courses because it improves your personal and professional development. We rely on you to make us safe and secure.”
Meanwhile, Bryan Hunt, Chargé d’Affaires acknowledged that the pressure to propel the security process is weighed against the increased threat from persons who want to traffic drugs and/or weapons from one country to another.
“It is critically important that nations work together in a coordinated manner to identify and thwart those threats. Security is a global issue. Criminal networks are constantly looking for vulnerabilities to move people and illicit cargo aboard the same planes that supply the goods and resources that grow and develop our economies,” Hunt said.
He disclosed that the US Government remains committed to aviation security partnerships with Guyana and in the Caribbean as a means of investing in the future and supporting sustainable development of the region.
GCAA Director General, Zulficar Mohamed, revealed that the authority has been able strengthen its relationship with TSA, and expressed his appreciation to the facilitators for coming to Guyana in such a short space of time to impart their vast knowledge to the participants.
“We must have the personnel, trained and ready to carry out their duties when necessary,” he said.
Security and Operational staff from CJIA, Ogle, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) Special Constabulary, Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) and GCAA attended the workshop.
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