UN aviation team to inspect Cairo’s airport security

International Civil Aviation Organisation to begin inspection of Cairo’s international airport security following downing of Russian plane

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

British passengers queue to leave the airport of the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, November 6, 2015

A team from the International Civil Aviation Organisation began its inspection of Cairo’s international airport on Monday afternoon.

The inspections are expected to include security and baggage handling, both of which have come under scrutiny in the aftermath of the downing of the Russian airplane over a week ago.

The Monday checks have been scheduled prior to the Oct. 31 crash in the Sinai Peninsula that killed all 224 people onboard, and is expected to end on Thursday.

French aviation officials claimed on Saturday that the Russian Metrojet Airbus A321 crash was not due to some technical failures.

Both UK and US officials have already stated their view that the bomb downed the Russian jet.

DAESH's affiliate in Egypt, Wilayet Sinai (Sinai Province), claimed it brought down the airliner with an air missile. Such a theory has been dismissed by all parties, however the possibility of the terrorist group being behind the attack is still not off the table.

In addition, the head of the Egyptian investigation team said on Saturday that a noise was heard in the last second of the cockpit voice recording (CVR) but noted that it was still too early to determine the cause of the crash as investigations are still continuing.

Russian tourists

Russia's deputy prime minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, stated that it will take around two weeks to bring home all the Russian tourists stranded in Egypt and that Russia has sent specialists to perform a safety audit of Egypt's airports and to assist with recommendations on additional measures.

Arkady Dvorkovich, the head of a government group created on Friday to deal with suspended flights to Egypt, said on Monday that 25,000 Russian tourists have already been brought back home since the weekend.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he does not expect flights to Egypt to resume any time soon, saying that "it will take time" to ensure safety of travelers in Egypt, following a suspension of all flights to Egypt which took place on Friday.

Dozens of airliners have been flying Russian tourists back home, carrying only cabin baggage, while Russian cargo planes are bringing the rest of their luggage back.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement on Monday that the authorities will also be bringing over 130 tons of the tourists' luggage via four cargo planes.

TRTWorld and agencies