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Nigeria risks Europe, US cargo ban

Cargo from Nigeria to Europe and the United States will be banned if the West African country fails to meet the European Civil Aviation Commission (ECAC) deadline to switch from single to the dual view screening, ECAC has warned. The warning was issued as Europe and the US stepped up the fight against terrorism by deploying cutting-edge technology. Experts argue that terrorists continue to devise new methods to beat security checks at airports worldwide; and they are capable of utilising cargo to transport explosive devices. This has forced aviation security authorities to demand thorough screening of cargo at airports. From next year, all all airports in the United Kingdom will insist on cargo being screened from more than one view.

Currently in Nigeria, all screening machines at the country's airports offer single-views. The country has until April 2012 to switch to a dual view scan or risk a cargo ban. Single view scans have already been phased out in Europe, Australia and the US. The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) said it had ordered the dual-view equipment to be utilised at its international airports. The pressure to update its screening mechanism also follows the increased cases of terrorism in Northern Nigeria and globally.

Chronology of events

In 2010, a foiled plot to detonate two homemade explosives concealed as freight led to aviation's previously passenger focused security efforts turning into cargo. In 2009, a failed underwear-bomb in a Northwest Airlines Flight 253 en route to Detroit meant a full body scans were introduced to air travel. In 2006, the foiled transatlantic plot to use liquid explosives aboard numerous aircraft saw an immediate liquids ban. In 2001, a failed shoe-bomb attempt that occurred on American Airlines Flight 63 flying from Charles De Gaulle International Airport in Paris, France, to Miami International Airport in Florida forced authorities to tighten security at airports.


Publication date: 12/13/2011


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