Singapore beefs up security at main airport

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Singapore-AirportSingapore has reviewed and stepped security at its main Changi airport in light of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 incident. The airport, which serves more than 100 airlines, is one of the busiest in the world.

In 2013, some 53.7 million passengers passed through Changi Airport – that is about 147,000 passengers each day. More than 6,900 flights either landed at or departed from Changi Airport every week that year. These are just some of the numbers authorities have to work around when formulating their security plans, Channel News Asia reported.

Sam Tee, deputy assistant commissioner of police and commander of airport police division, said: “The airport police regularly review the security arrangements at the airport in accordance with the developments worldwide. In light of MH370, the security agencies have reviewed the security measures and we have enhanced some of the checks with stronger ground presence. And we have also enhanced the checks on travellers’ identities.”

It is understood that selected flights are subject to more checks, though details are not made known. Airlines were also briefed about enhancing safety measures.

Abbas Ismail, section head of aviation management and services at Temasek Polytechnic, said: “We have not established that a security breach occurred for this particular flight MH370. Bit I think it’s better to be safe, to step up measures, so that if there’s an occurrence of such an incident, we are better prepared.”

But one thing that is known about MH370 is that two passengers on board were traveling on stolen passports. Authorities in Singapore said as part of immigration clearance, officers cross-reference databases such as Interpol’s when doing identity and document checks. They are also trained to look out for travelers who behave suspiciously and refer them for further checks, and also to check that travel documents have not been forged or tampered with.

All baggage, including that arriving in Singapore and being transferred to another aircraft, is put through an automated screening system which can detect explosive material by using computer analysis and operator review of images. The facade of the airport terminals has also been hardened to protect buildings and passengers from improvised explosive devices carried in vehicles. Facade protection comes in the form of bollards and anti-shatter film for the terminals’ glass exterior.

All these make up the multiple levels of security adopted to keep passengers safe. Officers also carry out regular patrols in the terminal transit areas, while over 2,000 CCTV cameras help the authorities keep an eye on everything that is going on at the airport round the clock.

There are about 80,000 staff working at Changi Airport. Of these, between 55,000 and 60,000 carry a Changi Airport Pass. They get access to various restricted areas depending on their passes. But staff with these passes are subject to background checks before the passes are issued, and undergo regular screenings depending on the nature of their work, and the areas their passes allow them access to.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Singapore has reviewed and stepped security at its main Changi airport in light of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 incident. The airport, which serves more than 100 airlines, is one of the busiest in the world.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Singapore-AirportSingapore has reviewed and stepped security at its main Changi airport in light of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 incident. The airport, which serves more than 100 airlines, is one of the busiest in the world.

In 2013, some 53.7 million passengers passed through Changi Airport – that is about 147,000 passengers each day. More than 6,900 flights either landed at or departed from Changi Airport every week that year. These are just some of the numbers authorities have to work around when formulating their security plans, Channel News Asia reported.

Sam Tee, deputy assistant commissioner of police and commander of airport police division, said: “The airport police regularly review the security arrangements at the airport in accordance with the developments worldwide. In light of MH370, the security agencies have reviewed the security measures and we have enhanced some of the checks with stronger ground presence. And we have also enhanced the checks on travellers’ identities.”

It is understood that selected flights are subject to more checks, though details are not made known. Airlines were also briefed about enhancing safety measures.

Abbas Ismail, section head of aviation management and services at Temasek Polytechnic, said: “We have not established that a security breach occurred for this particular flight MH370. Bit I think it’s better to be safe, to step up measures, so that if there’s an occurrence of such an incident, we are better prepared.”

But one thing that is known about MH370 is that two passengers on board were traveling on stolen passports. Authorities in Singapore said as part of immigration clearance, officers cross-reference databases such as Interpol’s when doing identity and document checks. They are also trained to look out for travelers who behave suspiciously and refer them for further checks, and also to check that travel documents have not been forged or tampered with.

All baggage, including that arriving in Singapore and being transferred to another aircraft, is put through an automated screening system which can detect explosive material by using computer analysis and operator review of images. The facade of the airport terminals has also been hardened to protect buildings and passengers from improvised explosive devices carried in vehicles. Facade protection comes in the form of bollards and anti-shatter film for the terminals’ glass exterior.

All these make up the multiple levels of security adopted to keep passengers safe. Officers also carry out regular patrols in the terminal transit areas, while over 2,000 CCTV cameras help the authorities keep an eye on everything that is going on at the airport round the clock.

There are about 80,000 staff working at Changi Airport. Of these, between 55,000 and 60,000 carry a Changi Airport Pass. They get access to various restricted areas depending on their passes. But staff with these passes are subject to background checks before the passes are issued, and undergo regular screenings depending on the nature of their work, and the areas their passes allow them access to.

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