Jamaica News: The Ports Security Corps Limited’s aviation security provider certification has been renewed by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA).
Managing Director of the Ports Security Corps Ltd. (PSC), Major Merrick Lloyd, told JIS News that the renewal was recently given following the completion of a series of assessments by the JCAA, which acts on behalf of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other affiliated bodies.
“In June of this year, our certification was renewed based on the exceptional performances that we would have demonstrated in the field,” he said.
Major Lloyd said that, to date, the PSC is the only such entity within the Caribbean region to have achieved this.
He pointed out that the JCAA represents ICAO, the international oversight body for aviation and that the requisite standards must be maintained in order to retain JCAA certification.
Major Lloyd further explained that to achieve the certification, specific things are considered, the primary ones being the proficiency of officers to conduct access control as well as personnel and cargo screening.
He said what would be assessed is the Corps’ ability to conduct those screenings to international standards in order to detect any contraband, involving physical searches as well as utilising the equipment, such as the walk-through metal detectors, handheld detectors and the various X-ray machines.
Major Lloyd said the officers must be able to read the imagery that the machines give out and be able to properly interpret and determine whether there is contraband present in a particular piece of baggage, cargo or on one’s person.
According to the Managing Director, the assessment period lasts for approximately three months and the first phase includes the inspection of documentation.
“They come to the PSC headquarters and they go through our training manuals… to ensure that the information that is contained therein is in compliance with international regulations and standards,” he said.
Major Lloyd noted that the assessors visit training sessions as well to ensure that they are being conducted to international standards. He also informed that they do field work where they go to the ports and inspect and grade the officers while on duty and conduct tests on PSC’s security measures.
“They deliberately try to breach the security, whether by setting bait at different points or putting test contraband in baggage to try and see if it will get through the security checkpoint and to see if our officers are able to detect these. They will also wear incorrect restricted-area passes,” he said, pointing out that this is intended to check the vigilance of the officers in ensuring that persons who are not allowed in certain areas of the airport cannot access these locations.
He noted that it is a very intense and in-depth process that sometimes involves representatives from ICAO, who periodically come to the island and conduct similar tests with PSC as well as personnel from Transport Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).
Major Lloyd explained that when the officers are tested by the various entities, the JCAA receives the reports, which are collated to determine whether the standard has been successfully met.
Source: JIS News