With recent claims that non-prohibited items have gone missing from checked bags at Argyle International Airport, persons have asked why the airport conducts manual searches of their bags in the absence of the traveller.
We put this question to officials at the airport on Monday during a media tour intended to “educate the public on matters relating to prohibited travelling items, security procedures, etc.,”
In response, Winston Wright, manager of Ground Handling and Cargo Service at AIA said that the first consideration is logistics.
“An ATR with 68 persons on board, and if you are to call all 68 persons within that half an hour turnaround that carrier has on the ground to search each bag in that person’s presence and answer all questions pertaining to that bag, the carrier will suffer continuous and significant delays, which they, in turn, will complain about the airport facility.”
Wright said that when a passenger purchases a ticket with an airline, he or she enters into a contract of carriage with that carrier.
“Now, from there, there are certain rules set out and most carriers have their contract of carriage on their website,” he said, adding that the contract is hardly printed on ticket stubs anymore.
“When you read through that, you will see the conditions under which you and your luggage [are] transported,” he said.
Wright further said:
“Now, when that bag is accepted by the carrier, that bag, for want of a better term, becomes the property of the carrier. And any carrier entering into a security arrangement with the airport as required by the regulatory system that exists, that carrier has given permission for your bag to be screened in a particular manner that they consider suitable to meet those regulatory requirements and for transport.”