By Louis Ibah
The Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, has received a new set of anti-explosives and narcotic baggage scanning machines as part of efforts to boost safety and security of airlines, passengers and other users of the airport.
Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Saleh Dunoma, who stated this on Wednesday said the investment was targeted at upgrading infrastructure at the airport to meet international aviation standards and recommended best practices on safety and security at airports. He described the machines as ‘astrophysics’ and manufactured in California, USA.
“It will identify hidden threats in carry-on items and checked-in baggages at airports. It has high penetration steel and it can detect explosives and narcotics and other prohibited items,” he said.
He said FAAN had recently carried out a test-run of the machine at the Lagos airport, explaining that the project would be extended to all the nation’s international airports in Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Enugu as part of a broader investment geared at boosting safety and security programmes around the country’s airports.
“Our intent is to deploy these scanners to our international airports but this depends on the outcome of its performance in Lagos,” said Dunoma.
“The interest is to make sure the airports are safe and secure, protect lives and provide machines of immense benefits to airlines and also assist the operations of other agencies at the airport, making them more efficient,” Dunoma added.
According to the supplier of the machines, Akin Mustapha, “it has six colour generation and that enables it to do a proper analysis of objects that go into it, better than others. It is highly reliable and very sensitive. In other airports around the world, they are taking away other machines and replacing them with this machine (astrophysics) for upgrade and efficiency.
“With superior image quality and innovative features including six colour imaging for increased object identification and screener assist for automatic programmable detection, astrophysics provides operators with the advanced tools required for quick and reliable airport screening,” he added.