Russian experts say security issues at Cairo airport 'resolved': Airport sources

Ahram Online , Friday 28 Jul 2017

File Photo: Russian tourists are shown leaving the country after their vacations, at the airport of the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Nov. 6, 2015. (Reuters)

A delegation of Russian experts has concluded a three-day inspection of new security measures introduced at Cairo International Airport by saying that many problematic security aspects highlighted earlier this year have been improved, airport security officials said.

The experts, who arrived in Cairo on Monday, examined security measures at the airport's second terminal, which is expected to host flights to and from Moscow in the future. These include measures during pre-flight checks of passengers and luggage, cargo, CCTV cameras and airport staff gates.

"Many of the concerns highlighted in [the] February [check] have been resolved and a report on the matter will be presented to the Russian government," an airport official told Al-Ahram Arabic news website on Friday.

Russia suspended flights with Egypt in late 2015 after a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh. All 224 people on board, mostly Russian nationals, were killed.

A number of other countries also suspended flights after the disaster, which Daesh militants claimed was the result of a bomb they had placed on board the plane. Germany, Poland and Turkey have since resumed flights ; the UK, formerly a major source of tourists to Egypt, has not done so.

In February, Russian parliament speaker Valentina Matvienko said following a security check by Russian experts that Cairo has improved most security aspects for safe flights but that Moscow believes "a few details remain problematic."

Egypt has recently installed new biometric equipment upon request by Russia to control access of airport staff to the runway as well as the baggage and cargo areas.

Russian airport security experts have visited Egypt on at least six occasions since the October 2015 crash to assess the effectiveness of new security measures put in place by the Egyptians to persuade Moscow to resume flights. The latest Russian inspection took place in February.

Russian officials have repeatedly said that they were close to resuming flights to Egypt, but they have not set a specific date.

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