- Westminster Group said aviation division Westminster Aviation Security Services (WASS) has commenced cargo-screening operations at Freetown International Airport (FNA) in West Africa.

Following security concerns in 2010, the European Commission introduced the RA3 and ACC3 Regulations via EU 185/2010 (Regulated Agent, Air Cargo or Mail Carrier operating into the Union from a third country airport) which required all regulated agents and airlines to implement enhanced security measures for all cargo bound for the EU/EEA and to ensure it is protected from interference.

The WASS construction and technical teams have worked hard to implement all of the security features and equipment required and WASS has produced the protocols for accepting and screening cargo using the EU approved methods of X-Ray, hand search and Free Running Explosive Detection Dogs (FREDDs) for the movement of high risk cargo, mail, and dangerous and high value goods.

In addition, WASS's Cargo Security Manager, a Certified Instructor for all levels of air cargo, has trained over 150 personnel including security officers, K9 units, ground handling agents, ramp agents, airlines and cargo agents and compiled all of the required operational documentation required by regulations.

Following an intensive audit by the EU validator in February 2016 the new cargo operations at FNA have now been accredited with full RA3 status. These operations are just one of a few airports in West and Central Africa with such accreditation.

FNA is now able to provide cargo services destined for Europe, including transit and transfer cargo and this provides considerable opportunities for FNA to become a cargo hub serving neighbouring countries.

WASS will, with immediate, effect now commence screening operations of export cargo for airlines travelling to the EU and elsewhere as required. Revenues will be generated on a variable per kilo security charge tariff, subject to certain minimum charges.

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