Security preparations at the Honiara International Airport for the upcoming South Pacific Games in November has been progressing and is positive.
Stakeholders including the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), Aviation Security, Solomon Airlines, Immigration, Customs, Bio Security and Airport management have held a number of engagement meetings to discuss issues relating to the security of the airport for the expected influx of visitors to Honiara during the sporting event.
These stakeholders have also been preparing for the new Japan-funded international terminal that will be the main exit point for visitors to Honiara.
As part of these preparations, a Phased Recertification Program was convened by stakeholders, in October 2022, to align emergency service personal to respond to potential critical incidents.
The Phased Recertification Program, which is supported by the RSIPF-AFP Policing Partnership Program (RAPPP), is to test the knowledge, abilities and resourcing of emergency service stakeholders to properly prepare for the influx of visitors.
On Wednesday 8 March, as part of the Phased Recertification Program, the RSIPF and other airport stakeholders conducted an exercise to test police and stakeholder response to an emergency situation.
The exercise was conducted in the new departure terminal at Henderson Airport, which also allowed stakeholders to become familiar with this new building. A meeting was held after the demonstration to discuss what each stakeholder is required to do and what to expect in an event of a threat or other emergency at the Airport.
RSIPF Airport Policing Operations Officer-In-Charge, Mr Paul Kalea, said before, during and after the games will be a busy period for the RSIPF and other stakeholders.
Kalea said the RSIPF and stakeholders will work together to provide a safe environment at the airport for visitors and locals.
“The games will be a very busy time for police and emergency services at the airport. We need to be at our very best to prove to our Pacific neighbours that the Solomon Islands is a safe and secure venue to come and visit and enjoy,” Kalea said.
He said the RSIPF has also been preparing for the new international terminal which has nbeen recently opened.
“It’s important that we are well prepare and work together to deal with any security incident,” the RSIPF Airport Policing Operations Officer-In-Charge said.
Mr Kalea said the Honiara International Airport is a critical infrastructure for the Solomon Islands and its security is paramount for providing a safe and secure Pacific Games.
Bolstering security through stakeholder engagement program is a significant step in preparing for the Game and ensuring that the RSIPF and other stakeholders are ready to deliver a successful security operation.