Independent security company to assess Egypt airport security following downed Russian jet

Published December 15th, 2015 - 04:00 GMT
Egypt airport security has been under fire after a Russian jet was downed in a suspected terrorist attack. (AFP/File)
Egypt airport security has been under fire after a Russian jet was downed in a suspected terrorist attack. (AFP/File)

Egypt's tourism ministry announced Monday its intention to hire an international company to assess the security measures taken at Egyptian airports by the end of December.

Ministers in a security committee, led by Egypt's prime minister, met earlier today with international companies in the field of security and risk assessment. 

Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said representatives from international security agencies with expertise in the field of airport security gave presentations to members of the security committee.

The meeting was attended by Aviation Minister Hossam Kamal and Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar.

Zaazou added that the chosen company will put forward recommendations to guarantee that security at airports are in line with international standards.

Since the crash of a Russian passenger flight in Egypt's Sinai desert on Oct. 31, international news outlets have been skeptical of security at Egyptian airports, especially the Sharm el Sheikh airport where the plane took off.

Two weeks after the crash, the Kremlin announced the results of its own investigation which found that the Russian plane was downed by an act of terrorism with a homemade bomb planted on the jet.

However, Ayman al-Moqadem, a pilot and head of the Egypt-led committee charged with investigating the causes of the crash, presented preliminary results of the probe on Monday morning, saying that the committee has yet to find evidence of the existence of "unlawful interference or a terrorist act."

Even before it announced the results of its investigation, Russia had halted flights between Egypt and Russia and sent out a team of experts to Egypt to discuss boosting safety measures in Egyptian airports.

In November, the Egyptian Holding Airport and Air Navigation Company activated a security check plan in airports nationwide at a cost of EGP 175 million. The plan involves renewing and replacing the airport radiation scanners for passengers, cargo, luggage, parcels and even vehicles.


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