Arik Air, has called on the Federal Government to deploy armed policemen at the nation’s airports to tighten security in view of the growing terror threats in the country and across the globe.
The airline made this known when the new Commissioner of Police, Airport Command, Dorothy Gimba paid a courtesy visit to Arik Air headquarters in Lagos.
The Deputy Managing Director, Captain Ado Sanusi who spoke on behalf of the airline said to further tighten security at the terminal buildings and the airside, there was need to have armed police officers at these areas, especially at this time when insurgency is threatening peace in the world, forcing various countries to restructure their security system, including airport security.
Sanusi also said that the presence of armed police officials is necessary in order to checkmate disruptive passengers who overreact when flights are rescheduled or cancelled, adding that cancellation and flight rescheduling are a trend in international air travel, which passengers should be familiar with.
He assured the new Commissioner of Police that Arik would continue to support the activities of the Command and gladly respond when called upon to assist.
“In view of the new security situation in the world, there is need to have armed policemen at the terminal buildings and at the airside of the airport. This will help to tighten security at the airport and to also complement what the Aviation Security (AVSEC) is doing. This has become very important because of the new security threats in the world and even in the country.
“Arik will continue to support the police and whenever we are called upon we will respond. Police can partner with us in order to fortify security in our operations,” Sanusi said.
The Commissioner of Police, Gimba expressed appreciation for the support Arik Air has given the Command, saying that the police would continue to expect such support from the airline.
She observed that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos is the hub of aviation in the country and therefore record the highest activities in all the airports, adding that she was fast learning the ropes about the sector.
“I came to make myself known because when you come to a place you ought to make yourself known to the community in which you are to take charge of and policing the airport is not particularly funny. For me, it is not a familiar terrain. One needs to pay attention, especially to emerging crimes and security threats all over the world,” Gimba said.
She commended Arik Air for the sophisticated security equipment acquired by the airline, sniffer dogs and detection devices which she said the Command would work with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to see how they could be utilised.
“I will study the environment and look at the areas where police presence is needed. Before you can make changes you must understand the system. We commend Arik Air for the operational vehicle it provided us recently, but like Oliver Twist we ask for more support from you. We, on the other hand will also strengthen security in your operations,” the Commissioner of Police said.