The British High Commissioner to Kenya, Dr. Christian Turner, today formally handed over an Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) machine to the Kenya Airways (KQ) Group Managing Director & CEO, Mr Mbuvi Ngunze, at KQ Headquarters, Nairobi. The gift forms part of the on-going co-operation between Kenya and the UK on combating terrorism.
The ETD machine, worth over Ksh 3.65 million in total, will assist in further broadening aviation security detection capability at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi. The machine provides Kenya with the latest technology to detect explosives on passengers and on their baggage, with detection of a broad range of explosives in less than ten seconds!
The machine complements the ETD machine gifted last year to KQ for cargo screening by the UK, meaning that both KQ passengers and cargo heading to the UK and other high profile destinations will be screened to higher security standards.
The ETD machine will be installed at Kenya Airways’ hub facilities at JKIA in Nairobi and will improve the security screening of passengers, baggage and on board consumables.
Speaking when he received the equipment, KQ Group Managing Director and CEO Mbuvi Ngunze expressed the airlines gratitude for the donation, adding that this gesture would significantly boost the airline’s security capability to detect and deter emerging threats.
“Safety and security of our guests and our people remains a key area of focus for us as an airline. Indeed emerging security threats remain an issue of global concern. We are grateful to the British High Commission for this donation. It is through joint efforts that we will be able to conquer these threats,” Mr. Ngunze added.
Also speaking at the handover, Dr. Turner said:
“Terrorism is a global issue and the UK Government is keen to continue its close working relationship with Kenya in order to strengthen the existing aviation security regime and work together to tackle the terrorist threat.”
In addition to the ETD equipment, the UK Government has and continues to offer various levels of assistance to key aviation security stakeholders in Kenya, including the Kenya Airports Authority (who received ‘Improvised Explosive Device’ training kits in September) and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (who, along with the KAA, sent ‘Compliance Inspectors’ to the UK last month for training).
Other security arrangements put in place by Kenya Airways include full body scanners that are capable of detecting non-metal items under clothing unlike walk through metal detectors.