Authorities at Argyle International Airport (AIA) say it is necessary that searches be carried out on passengers’ baggage, and any prohibited items be confiscated, in line with international aviation security standards.
In recent days, a number of persons here have taken to social media complaining of items including alcohol, electronics, and clothing having been removed from their luggage, and accusing workers at the airport of thief.
But speaking on WEFM’s Morning programme today, Hadley Bourne, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at AIA, explained that there are a number of items which passengers are not allowed to have in either their take on or checked in baggage.
Mr. Bourne noted that at present a point of contention has to do with the removal of alcoholic beverages exceeding 70% by volume or 140% proof, which is categorized as ‘Explosives and Flammable substances’ from passengers’ luggage.
He said the authorities at Argyle International Airport takes these allegations of thief seriously, but added that contrary to what is being reported on social media, investigations carried out, have revealed that there has not been any instances where any other items except alcoholic beverages was removed from passengers luggage by airport staff tasked with security screening and searching of passengers and their baggage.
He said the screeners are upset and saddened by these allegations of thief.
Keith Miller, Chief of Security at Argyle International Airport, said that there is a systematic procedure that is done to screen passengers’ baggage.
Meanwhile, Winston Wright, Manager of Ground Handling and Cargo Services at AIA explained that since some passengers pass through other airports before arriving at Argyle International Airport here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines it is possible that some items may have been removed at those ports, but they are unable to ascertain where and when this may have occurred.
He said all they can do is try to clarify what is happening with baggage being cleared at Argyle International Airport and he has not seen any untoward action being taken by baggage staff at AIA.