Icelandic Airport Fails Flight Security Audit Skip to content

Icelandic Airport Fails Flight Security Audit

Iceland’s Keflavík International Airport failed a recent security test; with a variety of different fake bombs making it through to departures undetected.

Most security staff had to be urgently sent on a training course—which is one of the reasons for recent long delays at the security gates.

Around the beginning of this month, flight safety auditors made their way through Keflavík Airport which, among other things, involved traveling with fake bombs in their luggage. According to Vísir sources, a large proportion of the fake bombs made it through undetected.

Regular assessments are made of security at international airports and it was during such an unannounced assessment, carried out jointly by ESA (the EFTA surveillance authority) and the Icelandic Transport Authority, that serious security flaws were revealed at Keflavík.

“If notes are made, we immediately move to amend our working procedures and training and whatever else needs doing in line with the notes,” explains Guðni Sigurðsson from Ísavia, which runs Icelandic airports.

According to sources, 20 fake bombs were hidden in staff bags, with most not being spotted during X-Ray. Guðni said it would be against the rules for him to comment on one specific aviation safety issue, “In order to ensure safety, because we don’t want terrorists and others knowing how we work in aviation security and we may not talk about it. So I can’t say anything about it,” he says.

The immediate action to put staff through extra training, and the associated long queues at security, tells its own story, Guðni agrees. Up to half of all security staff were off for training at the same time. In addition to this, random spot checks have also been stepped up.

Airports which seriously fail security checks are labelled as “unclean” in the aviation world and this can have serious impacts for the airport and its airlines. Keflavík has therefore taken the damning report very seriously; setting up a four-person response committee which meets twice a day, and sending representatives to the ESA in Brussels to keep them immediately updated with what is being done.

Guðni says that changes being implemented are going very well and coming online quickly and in good co-operation with international partners.

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