Security concern at PMB airport

2013-02-04 00:00

SMALL aircraft operators at Pietermaritzburg Airport are calling for the airport management to beef up security after it emerged that some people were allegedly stealing aviation fuel from their aircrafts.

Four operators who spoke to The Witness said they were concerned about the level of safety and security at the airport.

An operator, who did not want to be named, said he refuelled in November and left his aircraft in the hangar.

“But when I came back in December 40 litres of fuel had been stolen and when we report the matter to the airport management they were defensive,” he said.

Operators suspect that this is an inside job by those who work 24 hours at the airport.

The operator said they were not worried about money, but their major concern was that if someone can steal fuel, then it is possible for them to tamper with the aircraft, which could lead to disaster in the air.

Another operator, who also wished not to be named, said they needed CCTV cameras installed in their hangars so that nobody can gain access to their aircraft.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma said the municipality has a contract with a company that is managing the airport, so questions regarding operational issues should be referred to airport management.

Allen Kukard of Indiza Airport Management, which manages the airport, said the hangar from which fuel was allegedly stolen out of an aircraft was not locked. He said although it was a municipal hangar, the tenant is responsible for the security thereof, and not the airport security.

“The question is, will the tenants accept a drastic increase in rental in order to pay for such security?” asked Kukard.

He said they had spoken to regular operators regarding the searching of cars on exiting and they did not agree with this procedure, hence it is not done. “Security at the airport are employed to look after the terminal building, access control and perimeter fence patrols,” he said.

He said security cameras are a requirement by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to monitor access to the airside, apron and restricted security screening area (where baggage and passengers are screened prior to boarding) and nowhere else.

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