Egypt appoints UK-based Control Risks consultancy to assess airport security

Published December 23rd, 2015 - 08:00 GMT
A tourist passes through the security check at Sharm El Sheikh Airport. (AFP/File)
A tourist passes through the security check at Sharm El Sheikh Airport. (AFP/File)

Egypt is now cooperating with Control Risks, an independent global risk consultancy, in securing the country’s airports, starting with the Cairo and Sharm El- Shiekh airports, tourism minister Hisham Zazou announced on Tuesday.

Authorities hired the company in the wake of a Russian plane crash that killed 224 mostly Russian passengers who were heading to St. Petersburg from Sharm El-Shiekh on Oct. 31.

According to its official website, the company specializes “in helping organisations manage political, integrity and security risks in complex and hostile environments.” In addition, the company operates in 36 offices across the world.

“We support clients by providing strategic consultancy, expert analysis and in-depth investigations, handling sensitive political issues and providing practical on-the-ground protection and support,” the website statement reads.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Zazou said, “the company's job is to review the security and safety procedures in Egyptian airports.”

The company announced that it will finish assessing the airports within the upcoming three months.

Egyptian Minister of Aviatgion Hossam Kamal said, "We chose Cairo Airport because it is the biggest in Egypt and Sharm El Sheikh [airport] because there has been lots of talk about it lately."

The tourism ministry had announced earlier this month that Egyptian authorities intended to hire a company for consultancy on airport security measures. The announcement had also been made after British, Russian, and other airlines froze flights to Sharm El-Shiekh.

The crash took its toll on Egypt’s already weakened tourism sector, especially after Russia insisted that the crash was caused by a bomb, and the self-proclaimed Islamic State group took responsibility for the incident.

Egypt maintains that there is no evidence that the incident was caused by a terrorist attack. According to a travel risk map launched by Control Risks and International SOS, another country that provides medical and security travel services,  Egypt was given a “medium” travel risk rating.

Egypt's tourism authorities have recently launched a campaign entitled "This is Egypt" to encourage travelers to visit the country. The campaign was met with a flow of criticism from human rights workers who called Egyptian authorities out on their continuous violations of human rights, specifically inside police stations and prisons.

 


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