The Singapore Police Force and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) have stepped up security at Changi Airport. Though the specifics were not revealed at a press briefing on March 25 held at the airport, most of the enhanced measures have been carried out inside the internal departure zones, at the gates, and behind-the-scenes (in the form of baggage and passport screening and the use of airport-wide camera surveillance).
After the discovery that two Iranian nationals had used stolen passports to board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 despite the passports being listed on the Interpol database, several airports across the region have tightened up their security.
Airport Police commander Sam Tee said that police at Changi Airport have “enhanced some of the checks” and that there was also a “stronger ground presence”.
A morning spent in the public and check-in areas of Changi’s Terminal 2 (the terminal that houses Malaysia Airlines) confirmed the appearance of a couple more patrolling officers than usual, as well as that of sniffer dog teams.
Most travellers, when approached, welcomed the moves.
All travellers asserted their faith in Changi Airport’s reputation for top-notch security. A Vietnamese national flying to Bali was adamant that “I feel that Changi is a lot safer than the airports at home anyway; the people here check very thoroughly.”
Two travellers on their way to India were slightly more equivocal: “I think everyone here is a bit on edge, but what can you do? Still have to fly.” However they too cited Changi Airport’s reputation for security as a hard act to improve on.
As twitter commentator @colinsw6, whose profile describes him as a Security Operations Manager, points out:
@STcom Hard to “step up” if your security checks were at an already acceptable regulatory level. Interesting message to the flying public???
— Colin Spring (@colinsw6) March 24, 2014