Over the Christmas holidays, precisely on 29th December 2019, I drove out to admire the beautiful Christmas lights and other decorations around town, including my own Dansoman Roundabout and of course the Ridge Roundabout. I went up all the way through the Independence Avenue to the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
I made a stop at the Terminal 3 Arrivals, KIA, not because I was meeting a guest but purely to observe the busyness at the beautiful KIA especially during the holiday season. I was there for close to one and a half hours as some local, regional and international flights arrived one after another, most of them landing within schedule.
Unacceptable approach to duty
At a stage, I got up to take a walk and experience the vast waiting area. I noticed a trend that I thought was unacceptable in an international airport. I moved closer to understand what was going on. With all the security cautions around airports the world over, I observed to my amazement a casual unacceptable approach to duty by a security man positioned at one of the side doors leading from the public waiting space at Terminal 3 into the arrival/baggage claims area.
Not one, not two but several times, I saw this security man giving way to non-travellers to enter the baggage claims area through that side door. I saw other uniformed men and women using the same door and I presumed they were reporting for duty inside. That was okay. However, for the others who were casually dressed, some holding drinks including even fresh coconut juice in its shell and virtually pushing their way through to the restricted area after engaging this security man, it was certainly not acceptable. Sometimes in groups of two or three, the security man would allow one person in.
There was no doubt that these individuals knew what they were doing was not right. They must have known that in no international airport would non-travellers be given access to restricted areas of an airport. Yet, in our country, people would want to show a bit of power and influence, irrespective. So why do we do this to ourselves at the detriment of established rules and order? Lawlessness is not only about throwing stuff around indiscriminately. It is also about respect for order. There might be some genuineness in one or two who entered but certainly not at the rate and manner I observed it. The body language, the long engagements, sometimes with pleads told it all.
This kind of attitude and many more, if not checked, could compromise security and over time could destroy orderliness at the beautiful international airport that is receiving high commendations. While one may wish to ask for people to be given room to do their jobs, especially in security zones, security officers at the airport should also know that when they compromise their duties, they are posing huge security threats to the establishment.
In the last couple of years, those who have passed through KIA have admired and commended the beautiful facility our country has been blessed with. In all the commendations, the refrain has always been: “let’s hope the facility would be kept in good shape and order will prevail”. That has been my refrain as well each time I use the KIA. A beautiful airport is not just the structure but also the orderly services with the safety and comfort of users observed as premium.
The situation where people are using back doors to enter sensitive areas such as arrivals/baggage claims at KIA is worrying. It is time to draw the attention of the Accra Airports Company as well as the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority to the little things that could develop into regrets. The security officers sleeping on their jobs need to be woken up. They need to understand what compromising their duties and allowing non-travellers to enter the baggage claim areas means to KIA.
In a world of air travel uncertainties, it is dangerous to continue to harbour casual attitudes to duty at an international airport like ours. Every aspect of an airport’s management is of uttermost importance as any layback attitude could cost us immensely. Eyes would be on our security zones for as long as we are encouraged “to say something when we see something.” Our KIA is too beautiful to allow carefree and careless attitudes to fester.