Restricted access an option to secure OR Tambo?

Limited access to frontage roads has been floated as one of the options to improve security at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

This comes with the publication of an amendment to Annex 17 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Under the section on measures relating to landside, the amendment states: “Each Contracting State shall ensure that security measures are established for landside areas to mitigate the risk of and to prevent possible acts of unlawful interference in accordance with risk assessment carried out by the relevant authorities or entities.”

Leigh Gunkel-Keuler, spokesperson for OR Tambo International Airport, told TAM that while the airport was looking at limited access to frontage roads, it still needed to engage stakeholders on how. She said limiting access to frontage roads was being looked at as part of a broader plan to increase the security of the airport, but no decision had been made on how to do it.

“In so far as how we do it and when we do it, that is something we are still working on.” She added that it was a considerable decision to make as there were many stakeholders that would be affected.

Earlier this month, the airport announced that its multi-disciplinary tactical security plan was showing results, including a number of arrests.

The plan, outlined by Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, includes vetting all staff working in the airport; the appointment of a more senior police officer at the airport; the installation of CCTV cameras in and around the airport; and the establishment of the multi-task team at the airport. Future plans include establishing a centralised and integrated control room.

Commenting on the establishment of the multi-task team at the airport, Board of Airline Representatives South Africa ceo, June Crawford, said the task team had resulted in some improvement as the team was quick to respond.

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