CAA to urgently probe lapse in training of airport security personnel

Questions from Eyewitness News prompted the probe after obtaining correspondence which revealed complaints about inadequate training at a CAA accredited service provider.

Airport luggage. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA – The South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched an urgent investigation into an alleged lapse in training of security personnel tasked with X-ray screening of passengers and baggage.

Questions from Eyewitness News prompted the probe after obtaining correspondence which revealed complaints about inadequate training at a CAA accredited service provider.

Reshebile Aviation and Security Services sent its staff for week-long training at Ntate Aviation and Security Training but there was no instructor - the trainees watched a few videos and read theory from a book.

These security personnel are responsible for screening baggage for weapons and explosives before being loaded onto aircraft.

Eyewitness News has seen correspondence revealing that the Reshebile employees attended a five-day course at Ntate on how to conduct X-ray screening.

However, there was no facilitator present and the trainees only watched videos and learnt theory from a textbook before writing a test on the last day of the course.

A trainee complained that there were no practical exercises and demonstration of the equipment being used.

The CAA’s Kabelo Ledwaba says: “The South African Civil Aviation Authority takes this matter very seriously and we’ll immediately investigate the alleged incident as a matter of urgency. Should the investigation prove that there was some wrongdoing, appropriate action will be taken.”

The affected companies did not respond to a request for comment.