Schiphol steps up security measures
Schiphol Airport stepped up its security measures on Wednesday.7 February 2008
HILVERSUM – Schiphol Airport stepped up its security measures on Wednesday. More personnel are being deployed to manually check security passes of employees entering the premises.
Operational director Ad Rutten, responsible for the security at Schiphol, said this on television programme Pauw & Witteman on Wednesday night. He was responding to reports on the undercover operation undertaken by SBS6.
The SBS6 programme, which has not yet been aired, shows an employee who manages to smuggle a fake bomb into the loading area of passenger aircraft and shipments of drugs past the customs.
"We are never happy to hear these kinds of things, because despite the fact that we put an enormous amount of energy and money into security, you see that there are weak points," Rutten said.
He says that access pass control is particularly susceptible to mistakes. About 20,000 employees enter the secure area at Schiphol each day.
The director does not agree however with SBS journalist Alberto Stegeman's conclusion that the security at Schiphol is extremely lax. He stressed that all employees undergo a security check before being hired and that Schiphol satisfies European regulations and is working on a new security system.
Starting in July the entire outside area at the airport will also be secured so that all employees, goods and vehicles will have to undergo a scan. An iris scan will be installed at all doors to prevent people from being able to use another employee's pass.
"Everything will be sorted by 1 July. Until that time we will have to use manpower to supplement security, though there's always the risk that mistakes can be made," Rutten said.
Faction leader of green-left GroenLinks Femke Halsema found the director's response to the matter "irresponsibly laconic." She says that both Schiphol and the justice minister are failing in their responsibilities. "This is a first class disgrace," Halsema said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]
Subject: Dutch news