St. Kitts and Nevis tightens security at its airports


The tiny East Caribbean Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis are among countries around the world that are tightening security at their airports in response to the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit bound Delta flight.

St.Kitts and Nevis’ director of Maritime and Civil Aviation Affairs,
Mc Clean Hobson, told the local media that the country had no choice but to step up its security at the Nations’ two airports – RLB International in St. Kitts and the Vance Amory Airport in Nevis.

Hobson indicated that almost immediately after the failed bombing attempt all outgoing passengers to the United States and other countries had
to undergo full body scans.

He said that despite the best efforts things can still go wrong and the local Civil Aviation officials believes everything must be put in place to minimize the risk of terrorism.

“Several US bound flights originate in St.Kitts and we cannot afford any major breaches especially since we are highly dependent on US tourists to drive our economy. This almost means whatever the US does in terms of civil aviation security, we will be forced to do the same,” the Civil Aviation
director said.

American Airlines, Delta and US Airways all have non-stop jet service from the United States to St.Kitts.

“We are currently in discussion with the TSA for sourcing full body scanners which have been installed at 19 airports in the US and also in the Netherlands,” he said. “We would not want to find ourselves in situations like Nigeria and Ghana accusing each other of security lapses regarding the failure to stop the ‘underwear’ bomber from transiting their airports with explosives.”

He also explained that the local Civil Aviation Division with technical assistance from TSA and ICAO would continue to push for the overall improvement of security at the Federations’ airports through the national Civil Aviation and Airport Security program.

Over fifty percent of all visitors to St. Kitts and Nevis come from the United States.