Military in charge of airport security in Albania

Military in charge of airport security in Albania

Defence Minister said that “this is a practice applied in almost every European capital”

Xhaçka: The Army will be in charge of airport security

The Minister of Defence, Olta Xhaçka announced yesterday that the Army will be in charge of security at Tirana international airport, Mother Teresa.

Minister Xhacka said that what happened yesterday at Rinas airport was a very serious thing, stressing that such thing cannot happen in an area of special importance.

Xhaçka said that security mechanisms, which fall under the responsibility of the Chinese company that has been granted a concession of the airport, have completely failed.

According to her, this situation requires urgent intervention, because “we cannot allow the security of the people and the image of the country to be threatened”.

For this reason, “due to the constant irresponsibility shown by the company in charge of airport security, I have ordered Military Police and the Special Battalion of our Armed Forces to be in charge of this task”, the minister said.

She said that “this is a practice applied in almost every European capital”.

Xhaçka has also ordered Military Police to join State Police “in order to support it in guaranteeing airport security”. The Defence minister said that “the security of citizens is our main priority and nobody can doubt on our determination to do everything in order to guarantee it”.

Opposition leader said that the latest government actions are nothing short of a coup d’etat

Basha: Army in the airport is anti-constitutional

Xhaçka’s decision to dislocate military forces in this airport is seen by opposition leader as an anti-constitutional act. “The dislocation of military forces is being done in violation of the Constitution and the law”, Basha said from Vlora where he had a meeting with democrat supporters.

Basha accused the PM by saying that “the man who brought criminals in the government and parliament to defend his criminal affairs, who destroyed the justice system and Albanian police is the man responsible for the most serious incident involving national security”.  According to Basha, fact that the army is now in charge of airport security “clearly proves that the state has surrendered in front of criminals”

Basha also said that the latest government actions are “nothing short of a coup d’etat” .

Rama: TIA will now be under state control

PM Edi Rama accused the Chinese company of failing to take security measures in the airport. Meanwhile, the PM went even further by accusing the previous German company in charge of airport security.

“The Chinese company that acquired the airport from the previous company failed the same way in guaranteeing security.The Albanian state will accept no excuses from this company and will take airport security under its control” , Rama said.

Interior Minister blames the company in charge of TIA

Lleshaj: TIA charges 3 euros for each passenger leaving the airport, security failed

Interior Minister Sander Lleshaj has accused the company in charge of the airport by saying that security mechanisms totally failed. According to minister Lleshaj, the Chinese company in charge of the airport has failed to meet its responsibilities in guaranteeing physical security.

The minister did not mention any responsibility by police in guaranteeing security in the airport’s territory.

He accused the Chinese company of charging three euros for each passenger, a fee which is supposed to be spent on security. According to him, this would be more than enough to guarantee airport security.

Lleshaj accused TIA of not notifying police on the event. However, TIA rejected this accusation by saying that it has “fully complied with procedures, including the notification of Rinas Police” .

The minister said that Albanian state authorities will take immediate action to guarantee maximum security at Rinas Airport.

TIA: Law obliges State Police to protect the airport

Tirana International Airport (TIA) expresses its deepest regret for the events of yesterday, 9 April, 2019, in which a large quantity of money was stolen while on the Airport’s apron.

TIA will respect the investigations carried out by the appropriate authorities and as a result of that respect has not make any announcement so far on the events of yesterday, given their sensitivity and the issue of the security of the life of the passengers, Airport staff and Albanian State employees operating at the Airport.

The Airport notes with great concern the official statement of the Ministry of Interior, in which it seems that TIA’s ethics have been criticised, for a second time, to misinform the public. Once again it is being blamed for such events, a heavy charge that ought not rest on the shoulders of a foreign concessionaire, which rejects charges of lack of responsibility for airport security.

Tirana International Airport, in appreciating the issue of transparency with regard to the provision of information to the public, would like to announce that it has provided to the competent authorities all materials and CCTV records that will reveal the events of 9 April, 2019.

It has been correct in fulfilling its obligations with regard to these events and has in a very timely way informed the Rinas Police Commissariat following all relevant rules and procedures. Meanwhile, the investigation authorities have been provided with all the required documents, including the notification made to the Rinas Police Operational Unit.

TIA, in cooperation with the Albanian Civil Aviation Authority, has over the past three years, following the first such occurrence at the Airport, taken additional measures and taken to a higher level its CCTV system and boundary fence.

The Airport is subject to periodic audits undertaken by the Civil Aviation Authority and by other third parties. We kindly highlight once again that police forces are present throughout the border area. It is their legal duty to maintain order and safeguard the lives of citizens in events such as this armed incident.

TIA kindly requests that any information regarding security issues submitted for disclosure or publishing is handled with great care, as otherwise this might pose an additional risk.

The Airport once again expresses all due respect to the current investigations, and for each and every citizen and every police officer. We emphasise that, where national security and the lives of citizens are concerned, we are all on the same side.

The Airport is not Chinese; it belongs to the Albanians, is part of the territory of this country, and is protected by law of this state through the State Police. We therefore consider the official statement of the Ministry of Interior as inaccurate.

Once again, we emphasise that, pursuant to the obligations of the Concession Agreement, and in compliance with the National Civil Aviation Security Programme, TIA has fully and correctly implemented the procedure of timely notification of the police.

Tirana International Airport remains at the disposal of passengers and the general public for any further information it is able to provide.