Beirut Airport in Lebanon is set to start operating a new security system that was funded by the EU.
In 2018, the EU provided a $3.9m grant to Lebanon to secure Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport (RHIA) against illegal trafficking and the threat of terror.
Online newspaper Elnashra quoted Lebanese Interior Minister Raya el Hassan as saying: “The new system will allow the airport’s staff to inspect travellers’ luggage in a faster and securer way, and check passports more quickly, in order to enable a smooth flow of passengers.”
Existing security infrastructure at the airport will also undergo improvements, reported Xinhua.
In 2018, the Lebanese Finance Ministry gave its approval for an $18m fund to expand the airport.
This funding was provided following an increase in passenger numbers since 2008.
A study released by the airport’s Research and Studies Department in March 2018 forecast that around ten million passengers would travel via the airport by 2020.
Beirut’s new airport will open in June.
New security counters in the departures section will be increased from 22 to 34, while that of the arrivals section will increase from 32 to 46.
An airport source was quoted by The Daily Star as saying that the counters will open at the beginning of June.
Furthermore, the airport is also launching a new fast-track system for first and business-class passengers.
Financed by the World Bank, this $8m system will accelerate passport and luggage inspection process for about 20% of passengers.
It is expected to fast-track 1.5 million to two million passengers annually through the main terminal.