Beirut Airport meets EU security standards, states Lebanon

17 January 2016 (Last Updated January 17th, 2016 18:30)

Lebanon has stated that its Beirut Airport does not figure in the blacklist of International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Lebanon has stated that its Beirut Airport does not figure in the blacklist of International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Though the airport needs improvement, it has made significant efforts to meet the security standards as required by the European Union (EU), Lebanese Minister of Public Works Ghazi Zaaiter was quoted by Associated Press as saying.

The minister agreed that there have been security gaps, but they were subsequently met.

"The airport needs improvement, this is something we know and this is something we acknowledge."

The government had taken several decisions last year which led to the upgrade of airport ground services including of departures and arrivals.

According to the head of Parliament's public works and transport committee Mohamad Kabbani, a part of $25m Saudi donations have been allotted to purchase scanners and other new inspection machines to upgrade the security conditions at the airport.

Kabbani also urged the Lebanese government to appoint a new administration of civil aviation.

Kabbani was quoted by The Associated Press as saying: "The airport needs improvement, this is something we know and this is something we acknowledge.

"The airport cannot continue as part of the government, of the ministry of transport, it has to be under the authority of an independent body."

Kabbani's announcement came in response to the decision taken by France and Britain to boycott the Beirut airport due to safety concerns.

Rumours had surfaced that there had been an attempt to bomb an Air France passenger jet at Beirut- Rafic Hariri International Airport.

However, Lebanon refuted and stated that such rumours were "an attempt to disrupt work at the Beirut airport".

Later, aviation experts from Britain and France visited the airport and confirmed that the security requirements at Beirut met with the international security standards.