Civil aviation security: New infrastructures and equipment for international airports

Published: Thursday, 12 November 2020 18:42

Within the framework of bringing these airports in Cameroon up to safety and security standards and, in order to make them even safer, the Cameroon Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) has embarked on a vast programme of modernization and renovation of these infrastructures since 2016 with the support of the Presidency of the Republic through PIASA and World Bank financing.

In order to improve airport safety and security, the CCAA has renewed several pieces of equipment, including X-ray security control equipment, the construction of security fences and the acquisition of communication equipment, the installation of video surveillance, the acquisition of logistics and the deployment of an operational unit in charge of the screening of passengers and their luggage in our airports within the framework of the Integrated Project for the Improvement of Security in Cameroon Airports (PIASA).

Moreover, within the framework of the implementation of the Transport Sector Development Project (TSDP)-Air Component financed by the World Bank, of which the Director General of the CCAA is the contracting authority, several projects have been negotiated and started, notably the construction of airport Emergency Operations Centres, the rehabilitation of patrol roads and security fences, the acquisition of screening and video surveillance equipment. More than 30 billion FCFA are being invested by the World Bank.

In fact, beyond the sealing of the breaches which was done since 2015 on the security fence, the CCAA through this project, has developed and paved a 15 km road around the airport.

These developments have for over a year now brought an end to the phenomenon of runway crossing of the Yaounde-Nsimalen International Airport by the neighbouring populations. This situation which seriously endangered the lives of these local residents and the safety of air navigation, has found a solution. Thanks to this road, which will be inaugurated in December 2020, the safety and security of aircraft have been reinforced and the local population can more easily reach places of worship, markets, and schools, in Yaounde or Mbalmayo.

Also, in view of improving airport safety and security, work has begun on the pavement of the patrol road and the reinforcement of the security fence at Yaounde-Nsimalen International Airport. The aim is to facilitate the regular patrols carried out around the security fence by the gendarmerie and the Airport Security Unit (ASU), a unit set up in 2018. These works also aim to prevent any form of intrusion on the airport platform. The project, launched in April 2020, will be completed at the end of this year.

Furthermore, another project to pave the patrol road and reinforce the security fence at Douala International Airport is also being finalized. Work will begin in 2021.

Within the framework of the continued organization of the response to acts of unlawful interference, the TSDP-Air Component has undertaken the construction work of the Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) at the international airports of Yaounde-Nsimalen, Garoua and Maroua. The Yaoundé EOC is in the finishing phase and will be operational by the end of December 2020. As regards Garoua and Maroua, the construction works of the two-storey buildings each are less than 40% completed. However, both sites will be delivered in 2021. It should be noted here that an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), built as part of the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Enhancement Project (PRSSAC) in its French acronym, has been in existence at Douala International Airport since 2011.

In addition to the construction of infrastructures, the TSDP-Air component will complete the list of existing equipment at airports through the acquisition of screening and video surveillance equipment for Cameroon's 4 international airports.

These various upgrading and renovation actions undertaken by the CCAA which will be completed in 2022, will enable Cameroon to welcome with serenity the ICAO audit scheduled for the end of 2021 and the major sporting events in sight. One more argument to attract new airlines to Cameroon and regain the confidence of the entire industry.