Somaliland: Egal Airport Bans VIP Lounge Press Briefings


No more press brefings or large retinues of escorting and receving committees for public figures at Egal Airport in Hargeisa Somaliland

By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The country’s airports are operating at optimum security levels as per international standards.
This was revealed by the ministry of Civil Aviation and Air Transport during a press briefing at the Egal international airport in Hargeisa conducted by senior officials.
“While airport security in Somaliland is apt we have ceased regular press briefings conducted at the Egal International VIP Lounge by departing or returning politicians and government officials” said the Director General at the ministry of aviation Omar Saeed Abdillahi Aden
According to the DG the banning of the very popular airport press briefings is related to enhancing security at the country’s airports and more specifically at the Hargeisa based Egal International which is the main airport of Somaliland.
In his briefing the Aviation DG said that despite national airports being secure the maintenance of security has and is always a major activity that consumes large sums of money as well as personnel who require specialized training.
“When talking airport security most people believe it only pertains to weaponry or terrorists but it involves much more like surveillance of drugs and other contraband materials as well”
Revealing that an assortment of contraband materials has been sized from some arriving passengers the ministry of aviation chief operating officer also informed that the reception or escorting committees of departing public figures have been a major security headache owing to the large numbers of people involved as well as subsequent VIP lounge press briefings.
“Cessation of VIP lounge press briefings is just a step in the path of securing our national airport further”
Queried on whether the new protocols include the head of state DG Omar Saeed Abdillahi Aden was quick to point out that in the recent past the Somaliland president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo has only been accompanied by his official entourage having inspected the guard of honour and briefed the press at the presidency.
On developments going on at the Egal International Airport the State minister at the ministry of aviation Ahmed Nuur Fahiye said on hand activities include heightening the security perimeter fence and the installation of modern security scanners as well.
The aviation minister Omar Sheikh Mohamed Farah upon reiterating that the country’s airports are fully secure also thanked president Silanyo for accepting new protocol policies while urging the three national political parties to do likewise.
The minister State minister and DG at the Somaliland ministry of aviation and air transport in Hargeisa “We have written to the three political parties of Kulmiye, Wadani and UCID asking them to hold their pre and post abroad tours press briefings at their respective offices thus retain the airport as a venue for departures and arrivals only” said the minister
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