Thursday, December 31, 2009
The authorities at the Kotoka International Airport, Ghana's sole international airport have introduced extreme security measures following reports that the Nigerian who was involved in the abortive attempt to blow up a plane in the US purchased the airline ticket from Ghana.
Mrs Doreen Owusu Fianko, Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), told journalists that the stringent security measures had been introduced to ensure that the airport was well protected against any security threat.
She therefore urged the general public, especially prospective travellers, to collaborate with the authorities at the airport as they go about their duties.
Mrs Owusu Fianko noted that as part of measures, passengers would be made to go through a complete security check after they had undergone X-ray screening.
She said it was necessary for such measures to be taken, adding that the cooperation of passengers was most needed at this time when security measures at airports had become very crucial.
According to her, these measures were being implemented in collaboration with all stakeholders of the airport, especially the airlines.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, allegedly tried to detonate explosives in his underwear on Christmas Day and this has prompted airports all over the world to take a second look at their security measures.
Abdulmutallab was a passenger on Northwest Airlines flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit with 300 passengers and crew members onboard.
His route began in Yemen, from where he travelled to Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria. On 24 December, he flew from Lagos to Amsterdam, where he boarded the flight bound for Detroit.
The ticket information of Abdulmutallab showed that the e-ticket with which he traveled was purchased in cash from the KLM office at Accra airport on December 16, 2009 at US$ 2, 831. The original routing of the trip was Lagos-Amsterdam-Detroit-Amsterdam-Accra.
However, the routing was later changed to Lagos-Amsterdam-Detroit-Amsterdam-Lagos.
Abdulmutallab's claims of having links with Al-Qaeda are also being investigated.