Security review after major cocaine haul at Jamaica airport

KINGSTON – The Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), will be undertaking a security review following the recent multimillion cocaine bust at the Ian Fleming International Airport in the eastern parish of St Mary.

In an interview with the Jamaica Gleaner, AAJ President and Chief Executive Officer Audley Diedrick, said the drug bust has prompted the agency to take a closer look at security at the airport.

According to Deidrick, the airport operations at international security standards and based on this, the facility is required by regulation to abide by established security measures and protocols.

“And I would go further to say that because we are also looking to establish operations in the United States, we’re also having to ensure that we are utilising measures that meet the requirements of the TSA (Transport Security Administration) of the United States.”

“When an incident like this happens, in the same way that when 9/11 happened in 2000, it caused the aviation industry – airlines, airports – to look at their security measures and to see where, if any, improvements can be made then.

“I would say with all honesty in a matter like this, as the operator for that airport, we will use the opportunity to look if there are any ways that we need to take any further improvements to our security system,” he added.

On Friday, personnel from the Narcotics Division and Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Division, along with their counterparts from the United States and Canada, carried out targeted operations at the airport and seized 10 bags containing just over 1 100 pounds of cocaine, valued at US$25 million.

The Ian Fleming International Airport was upgraded from the Boscobel Aerodrome in January 2011, and earlier this year, the airport welcomed its first scheduled international flight with the arrival of a 30-seater InterCaribbean Airways airplane from Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. (CMC)

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