Ongoing growth in passenger numbers forecast
A three-day aviation security awareness campaign was held at the East London Airport last weekend, with different companies exhibiting and sharing information to interested travellers . The campaign was led by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).
“The aviation industry has experienced a growth in passenger numbers from 1.5 billion in 1998 to four billion in 2017,” SACAA member Pappie Maja said.
“The International Air Transport Association forecasts that the number of passenger transported by airlines will reach 8.2 billion in 2037. “This growth will require a coordinated response by all countries across the world in managing the air transportnetwork,” Maja said. The campaign aimed to bring about awareness of aviation security and educate travellers and members of the public regarding air travel security.
“As part of the campaign, travellers and the public were presented with security demonstrations and exhibitions by the SACAA, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), South African Police Service (SAPS), and security management companies offering services at the East London Airport, Lanseria International Airport, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, Pietermaritzburg Airport and Upington nternational Airport,” he said.
ACSA representative Nontsikelelo Guqaza said their main function at the airport was to oversee all the safety and security precautions of the building. “We oversee the terminal building.
“If anyone needs help, they come to us. “We screen bags at the boarding counters; the obvious items such as firearms, whether it’s a toy gun, knives, scissors or any other sharp objects.
“The safety of the passengers is our main priory,” Guqaza said.
Mlungisi Mpemba, of the Reshebile Aviation and Protection Services (RAPS), said their main purpose was to provide security and inspection services at the airport.
“We patrol and physically guard the premises, we do cargo screening and assessment,
aircraft guarding, firearm handling, baggage screening, visa and documentation verification and passenger assessment and screening,” Mpemba said.