Male’ airport security official rejects GMR delay criticisms

Security officials at Male’ International Airport have rejected criticism that increased scrutiny during passenger checks was responsible for the delay of a number of flights yesterday morning, claiming there has been no additional or emergency measures put in place.

In a statement issued by infrastructure giant GMR, which is currently managing and renovating the existing airport site ahead of opening an entirely new terminal to open in 2014, the company said that six international flights were “heavily delayed” on 1 March.

The adoption of new security measures yesterday at the airport that it had not been informed of were alleged to be responsible for the delays.

According to the company, six flights scheduled to take off between 9:00am and 10:00am were unable to leave on time due to the congestion of passengers waiting to pass through security checks to catch their planes.

“These delays were the direct results of additional security measures introduced by the Aviation Security Division,” the company stated. “These measures included the physical hand pat‐down of each departing passenger which led to longer processing times extending the queuing time. These additional measures were not communicated by the Aviation Security Command to GMR Male’ International Airport Pvt. Ltd. or the customer airlines.”

GMR claimed that i a physical pat-down of every passenger after passing through metal detectors was believed to have resulted in flights being delayed during the morning by up to one hour and twenty minutes.

The company added that it was common practice at airports all over the world to use hand-held scanning devices instead during security checks.

“The standard queuing time required under the Concession Agreement is 10 minutes until processing at the x‐ray machine,” GMR stated. “This morning processing time for a large number of passengers was in excess of 40 minutes and as a result, flights could not close check‐in at the allocated time which led to the extensive departure delays.”

GMR claimed that although it was focused on trying to ensure improvements to all areas of airport service during its tenure – particularly by working with airlines and regulators – the company said that the “highest standards” must be maintained without severely impacting the experience of passengers.

In responding to the criticisms, Moosa Habib from the airport’s Aviation Security Command said that no new procedures such as pat downs of all passengers had been put in place during the morning before clearing passengers for their flights.

Habib claimed that many other factors outside their control were also responsible for any delays.

“The security measures are the airport and very important and sometimes they can be strict,” he said. “But there are many factors out of our control that can delay flights.”

Habib told Minivan News that there had not been any changes to security procedures during the morning and that he believed “business operated as normal” with pat-down procedures taking between 20 to 30 seconds per passenger.

A spokesperson for the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) told Minivan News that it had no real role in providing security at the airport.

The spokesperson added that the MNDF currently did not hold any concerns about security at the site.


12 thoughts on “Male’ airport security official rejects GMR delay criticisms”

  1. Hey, this is Maldives.
    We will do what we please, however we please here.

    If we wanted we could take over 60 minutes just to stamp one passport at the border.

  2. Security at the airport is still quicker than airports in India. Where it is really a pain. GMR has so far not done anything visible to improve passenger comfort, since taking over.

  3. Some passengers reported in the middle of January 2011 that the Finfenmaa Lounge did not electricity at a aingle socket point. They could not charge their mobile phone or laptob batteries.

    This too will probably be blamed on the security!

  4. GMR is making a big hassle out of a small fry. Security should be done properly and not in a time restricted manner. It is for the good of the passengers not to profit GMR and airline operators. The GMR manger remarks shows lack of management skills on his side. If you are unhappy leave before making a big fuss.

  5. try some airports in indonesia - going thru the main gate to get your boarding pass, they ask u for money, then at immigration to stamp passport they ask u for money ... and finally to the waiting room for final scanning they ask u for money ...

  6. Bad image for our nation due to the fact of lack of service in this modern world.
    Indians are not even close to Maldivians in service industry.

  7. Security should be done properly, but it should also not been abused. Yesterday, there were reports of blatant abuse by the security "checkers" against targeted passengers.


  8. Welcome to Maldives, aka mini-Bangladesh. Hand over your dollars if you want to pass through security...

  9. Hi all...They will commence upgradation on schedule which is july this year.Wait and See the magic

  10. Implimentation and adaptation to new security measures will obviously take time. Security measures doesnt have to be exciting and convenient. Its also very sad that people doesnt appreciate the role of security, who are going extreme lengths to safe guard our security. Few people sport a smile on their faces while being checked. Security is everyones responsibility.


Comments are closed.