Airport security personnel in Dominica joined other security staff within the OECS currently undertaking training to strengthen airport security.
The programme, facilitated by the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCA), aims to enhance security in the OECS airports to comply with international aviation security standards and best practices.
Chief Executive officer of the Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority Benoit Bardouille says, this course is pertinent to preparing staff for the many security challenges presently faced on a day to day basis.
“We have as trainer Mr. Chris Bala from IATA, who is conducting the training. It is an OECS sponsored type programme through IATA to strengthen the areas of airport and aviation security, public relations and customer service. There is quite a challenge that security officers face having to screen passengers and having to interact with persons at the airport. What we are seeking to do is to strengthen our security officials by way of strengthening them in customer relations and how to deal with the public. That is a very important area for us and we are grateful to the Government through the Ministry of Public Works and Ports whereby they have agreed through with ECCA to have this training programme,” he said.
Twenty-four security officials participated in the one-day training workshop held at the Marigot Co-operative Credit Union’s Conference Room on Thursday June 9, 2011.
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works, Energy and Ports, Mr Lucien Blackmore said that given the security challenges faced by the international aviation community, airport security training in Dominica is high on Government’s agenda.
“We all would appreciate that in the line of the business that we do, that is running of an airport, part of the business is ensuring that there is very efficient movement of people and services. At the same time it is done in a very secured and safe manner. We understand as well that in order to get the work done, you have to interface with people: the passengers and the travelling public. We want to ensure that at the end of the day, because of the fact that for the reasons of aviation security, as it has now become absolutely necessary that there are a number of checks and procedures and passenger screening that has to be done. All those things lead to more time, more cost and of course, very importantly, more inconvenience. So we want to ensure that at the end of the day that the customer feels that he is being served and not really just put under undue hassle or situation of inconvenience so to speak,” he pointed out.
Mr. Blackmore said that this workshop in public relations and customer service is beneficial to the local aviation sector as it provides training for airport security staff to meet international standards.
“We realise that today’s programme is very important. We want to ensure that our civil aviation and our aviation security personnel has the requisite skills, knowledge, mind-set and attitude; that they understand that they are there to serve the travelling public. They need to understand that the way in which they interface and relate as well as process their passengers will be done in a very efficient, customer-friendly and focused manner. So today’s programme is very important. It is yet another milestone as part of the overall air enhancement programme for this country,” he said.
This ‘customer service in airport security training course’ forms part of a series of programmes being implemented by the E.C.C.A to develop a safe and efficient aviation sector in the Eastern Caribbean.