CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 23, 2006)
Nevis joined the global fight against terrorism when it implemented a number of security measures at the Vance W. Amory International Airport at Newcastle recently and members of the travelling public have had to adjust to a number of critical changes at the Airport.
He said that Aviation Authorities worldwide had seen it necessary to implement a number of security measures and procedures in an effort to further safeguard civil aviation from acts of unlawful interference. However, Airport Officials are seeking the corporation of the public, citing that there would be no preferential treatment.
Commenting on the reactions of passengers who have had to deal with the new safety measures, Mr Hendrickson explained that it has been mixed.
“Basically, some members of the public are understanding and some are not. They don’t like not being able to take certain items with them and I could understand their reason but it is for a good cause and because of the international standards we cannot say some [restricted items] go and some don’t go, we [airport authority] have to play our business across the board to everybody.
“The reason being also, under the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules, once these measures are put in place and we are going to be doing international business, we must carry out these procedures and on no account can we do it half way, we must do it in full in order to meet the required standard if we want to continue as an airport,” he said.
In line with the new measures, passengers are advised that no liquids, gels or aerosols (beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, creams, toothpaste, hair gel, hair spray and other items of similar consistency) are permitted in accessible property or on one’s person past the boarding gate hold area or the boarding gate.
However, Baby formula/milk and baby food in small containers are permissible if a baby or small child is travelling and so is prescription medicine once the name matches the passenger’s ticket.
Essential other non- prescription medicines are permitted but should not exceed 4 ounces or 120 ml per container. Liquids or gels for diabetic passengers who indicate a need for such items to address their medical condition would be permitted in a limited quantity no greater than 8 ounces or 240ml per container.
Under the security measures, passengers would not be permitted to take liquid gels or aerosols purchased inside the sterile area onboard the aircraft. Notwithstanding, Duty free items including liquids, gels and aerosols may be transported in the cabin of an aircraft if such items are delivered to the passenger immediately before boarding or after they have boarded the aircraft; and all passengers and their carry-on luggage along with all personal items including but not limited to hats, cameras, watches, belts, footwear, shall be scanned 100 percent by x-ray machine and are subjected to a physical search.
Meantime, Acting Airport Manager Mr. Stephen Hanley said the Airport wants to sensitise the public as to what they can and cannot carry to avoid any confrontational incidents.
“Once persons are sensitised, we believe that it would be much easier at the screen point when they are able to go through without any difficulty. I have travelled since the incident and I realise that the biggest problem is when people don’t know or the fact that they may know but they feel like they could get away with it and you have confrontations at the screening point because they don’t want the items taken away but we have to follow the international standards. The aircraft from here [Nevis] are going into other ports and so we have to respect the rules otherwise it would not be wise for us to do this.
“If items that shouldn’t be carried are allowed to the next point, then we would be looked at as not being compliant with the procedures that have been put in place,” he said.
Nevis is a signatory to the ICAO among 186 members and on that basis can be sanctioned heavily once the Airport is deemed noncompliant with any basic international regulations.