DPM Rabi Lamichhane Urges Prompt Action on TIA Security Measures

Wed, Apr 3, 2024 11:58 AM on Latest, National,

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane has issued a directive to stakeholders urging immediate action on the recommendations put forth by an inquiry committee aimed at enhancing security measures at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

In a stakeholders' discussion convened at the Home Ministry, Minister Lamichhane underscored the importance of implementing the committee's findings, led by National Security Adviser Shankar Das Bairagi. Emphasizing effective coordination among TIA agencies, Lamichhane urged stakeholders to refrain from engaging in mutual blame. Moreover, Lamichhane directed officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs to abstain from utilizing the airport's special room, stressing the need to minimize delays for citizens and cease unnecessary inconveniences under the guise of security or administrative management.

Addressing concerns about budget constraints, Lamichhane emphasized the imperative of prioritizing citizen services, international recognition, and security without using financial limitations as justification. Highlighting the challenges posed by the neglect of protocol by VIPs, Lamichhane urged representatives of all TIA agencies to establish clear criteria for VIPs and streamline arrival and departure protocols to address evolving security concerns.

The formation of the inquiry committee last August followed the recovery of approximately 61 kg of gold smuggled out of the airport. The committee's report recommends establishing a dedicated air security service under Nepal Police, removing private sector security personnel from the airport, and reassigning employees serving for over two years. Additionally, the report advocates for the acquisition of modern equipment and detectors, enhancing diplomatic cargo screening, establishing an integrated airport intelligence system, and updating airport technology through legislative amendments.

The stakeholders' discussion, attended by secretaries from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Finance, and Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, along with senior officials from Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, Nepal Airlines Corporation, Department of Immigration, and Customs Office, reflects a concerted effort to address security challenges and fortify TIA's operational framework.