Security hassles at KIA, Thursday, March 15, 2012, Front

Angry aviation security personnel at the Kotoka International Airport yesterday brought operations at the Domestic Flight Terminal of the airport to a temporary halt when they locked up the entrance of the terminal from the tarmac.

The action was in solidarity with the Commander of Aviation Security, Ben Henaku, who is in the grip of the National Security for allegedly breaching security procedure during the arrival of President Mills on Tuesday.

To protest the alleged violence visited on their boss, the security personnel locked up part of the domestic terminal.
Subsequently, passengers of a Starbow flight who had arrived from Sunyani were forced to confront the security personnel to get the gates open.
An eyewitness told the Daily Graphic that in the ensuing melee, a glass door was shattered by the stranded passengers.

The source said the situation calmed down when some senior officials of the Ghana Airport Company Limited went to talk to the workers.

The source, who spoke to the Daily Graphic on condition of anonymity, said the turf battle between operatives of the National Security and the airport security started when operatives of the National Security confronted Mr Henaku, who had been found around the tarmac when the President arrived.

It said Mr Henaku had been confronted by the security operatives, resulting in a scuffle which led to Henaku being allegedly manhandled.

When the Daily Graphic got to the airport yesterday, the situation had returned to normal, with passengers and workers of the terminal busily going about their duties.

Security personnel declined to comment on the matter.

Some minutes later, the Board Chairman of the Ghana Airport Company Limited, Mr George Kuntu Blankson, walked into the terminal with the Managing Director of the company, Mrs Doreen Owusu-Fianko.

A not-too-happy Mr Blankson told the media, “It wasn’t a strike. As you can see, everybody is doing his or her work,” in apparent reaction to media reports that the entire airport security personnel were on strike.

He said the way forward was for the management of the airport to team up with the National Security to define security parameters to ensure peaceful co-existence between them.

Mrs Owusu-Fianko, for her part, said the company would conduct full-scale investigations into circumstances that led to the  temporary closure of the Domestic Flight Terminal.

“We do not take issues concerning the security of the airport and our passengers lightly,” she told the Daily Graphic.

“Everything is back to normal but we have to take the necessary steps to ensure that this does not happen again,” she added.     
She said as an immediate measure, the company would engage its employees and the security agencies to reduce tension.

The situation did not affect the International Flight Terminal, as had been reported.


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