TRAVELLERS THROUGH JKIA IN NAIROBI TO ARRIVE AN EXTRA HOUR EARLY
(Posted 30th January 2014)
It was learned overnight that airport security at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi was stepped up with added perimeter gate vehicle checks, though police had been deployed there for several years already but only periodically stopped a car and checked passengers and the contents of the boot. It was reliably learned that the Kenya Airport Authority will construct additional lanes to facilitate the screening of cars and people entering the main airport area, and while nothing has been said about providing roof cover in case of rain, that too is expected to be constructed in coming weeks. Until ready though should passengers brace themselves for added waiting time at the main gate before reaching their check in gates at the terminal.
Two recent incidents though seem to have raised the awareness levels of security officials, even though the Inspector General of Police once again acquitted himself dismally with a tweet in which he described one of the incidents as a ‘light bulb which fell from the ceiling into a wastepaper basket’, further denting his credibility as Kenya’s top cop.
That particular incident on the 16th of January was later disclosed as having been an IED thrown from a passing car at the Java Café at the airport, while in the second incident smoke grenades were discovered in an airport toilet.
NTV, one of Kenya’s private television stations, then ran an investigative piece on airport security, and its potential breaches, ruffling the feathers of top security officials who in their usual blustery style then took aim at the messenger rather than addressing and facing up to the facts that there may indeed be soft spots which could be exploited for ill motives.
Kenya Airways was among the first of the airlines operating at JKIA to give notice to their passengers to arrive extra early for their departures to avoid arriving late at the check in counter and maybe miss their flight and instead of coming two hours before departure travelers are now urged to arrive as much as three hours before their flight is due to leave.
Meanwhile have Western embassies and High Commissions once again raised their warning levels for their citizens living in Kenya, that there were fresh indications of the country being targeted again, which led to an upscaling of entrance security measures at public buildings, shopping malls, hospitals and other places of increased human activity. Watch this space for future updates as and when available.