Metrojet Flight 9268 crash: Airport security rethink ‘may be needed’

Moi Airport Mombasa
Moi Airport Mombasa (Photo: Arthur Buliva)

Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta and Mombasa’s Moi International airport security may need to be reviewed, resulting in extra costs and delays for passengers, if the Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 from Sharm el-Sheikh is found to have been brought down by a bomb.

Speaking on BBC ONE’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning, British foreign secretary Philip Hammond said that in areas where Islamic State militants are active, airport security will have to be reviewed if experts concluded the cause of the crash was due to an explosive device.

As al-Shabaab militants have attacked various targets across the country, this security review could include the Nairobi and Mombasa airports.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). Photo: Li Yong

Mr Hammond was asked by Marr about the implications for airport security in Turkey as well as some airports in the Middle East and Africa.

He said: “If this turns out to be a device planted by an Isil operative, or by somebody inspired by Isil, then clearly we will have to look again at the level of security we expect to see in airports in areas where Isil is active.”

“What we have to do is ensure that airport security everywhere is at its best and that it reflects local conditions. One of the key issues about keeping airports safe is the training, management and motivation of staff.”

“That may mean additional costs, it may mean additional delays at airports as people check in.”

All 224 people on the board the Russian Metrojet flight from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg died when it came down in Sinai on 31 October. Most of the victims were Russian.

Intelligence services in the US and UK have both said there is a strong possibility the crash was caused by a bomb. Militants affiliated to so-called Islamic State, also known as Isil, have claimed responsibility.