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Installation of EDS at HSIA in a day or two

CAAB official hopes EU's cargo ban to go soon

By Special Correspondent
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The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has started installing Explosive Detection Systems (EDS) at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in compliance with the conditionalities from the European Union (EU) in the wake of terror threat after the Holey Artisan Café attack at Gulshan in Dhaka last year.
 "Installation of Explosive Detection Systems at the airport is underway in compliance with the EU's conditionalities. The systems can automatically detect explosive material concealed inside hold baggage and cargo," a senior CAAB official told The New Nation on Friday, asking not to be named.
The CAAB earlier floated tender for importing two sophisticated EDS. The consignment of the EDS arrived in the country on July 23.
 "Installation of the EDS will complete in a day or two. Once the installation work is completed, we hope the EU would erase Bangladesh's name from the red list and lift the ban on direct air cargo from the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA)," added the CAAB official.
In June this year, the EU put Bangladesh on the list of "high-risk" countries in terms of operating cargo services by air and sea to the EU countries and imposed restriction on direct air cargos from Bangladesh.
It also asked the Bangladesh authorities for immediate introduction of explosive detection systems as part of additional screening of baggage and cargoes before any flight departure for any EU country.
Last year, Australia, the UK and Germany imposed a ban on direct cargo flights from Bangladesh citing poor aviation security at the HSIA.
 "Security at the airport has already been beefed up. For further security enhancement, installation of necessary equipment is going on in full swing," said the CAAB official, adding: "The installation work will be completed within the shortest possible time."   
Apart from EDS, the CAAB is also installing duel-view X-Ray scanning machines, duel-view scanning machines, liquid explosive detection systems, under vehicle scanning systems, flap barrier gate with card reader, explosive trace detection system, barrier gate with RFID card reader and many others to improve airport's security.
The official also informed this newspaper that the CAAB authorities are going to invite two teams from the EU and the UK to inspect the progress in aviation security at the HSIA, the prime airport in Bangladesh.    
 "We will invite the EU and the UK teams in the first week of August for the physical inspection of improved passengers and consignments screening at the airport," he added.
In March 2016, the UK banned air cargo directly flying from Dhaka to London stating that HSIA failed to meet some international security requirements, including screening of passengers and cargoes and lack of explosive tracking devices.
Later, the government engaged British security firm 'Redline Assured Security' to upgrade the security management and training of personnel at the airport at a cost of Tk 73.25 crore.
The firm will continue its project until March 2018.

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