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Project News: Visibility Event for the EU-funded “Reinforcing Aviation Security at Rafic Hariri International Airport” Project (AVSEC Lebanon)

22 May 2019


On 22 May 2019, the European Union (EU) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) held a project event on for the EU-funded project “Reinforcing Aviation Security at Rafic Hariri International Airport” (AVSEC Lebanon). The event took place at CERSA (Airport Security Training Centre) under the patronage of Prime Minister Saad Hariri and in the presence of the Lebanese Minister of Interior and Municipalities Ms. Raya Al Hassan and European Union Ambassador to Lebanon Ms. Christina Lassen.

In the welcoming address  ICMPD’s Director of Migration Dialogues and Cooperation Martijn Pluim stated that “…at the heart of this [project] lies a collective will to eliminate the threat of terrorism in Lebanon and more specifically the likelihood of security incidents occurring at Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport”. He also underlined that “…no one will benefit from a reinforced and efficient airport security more than the Lebanese citizens and the visitors to this beautiful country”. VIP Guests attended this high-level event – among those where delegates of EU Member States, UN agencies as well senior representatives of the project beneficiaries and Lebanese security agencies.

Minister of Interior and Municipalities Raya Al Hassan thanked for the continuous cooperation with international donors and partners and pointed out the importance of aviation security to the Lebanese government. H.E. Ambassador Christina Lassen reconfirmed the ongoing promotion of a multi-agency approach, which aims at developing a better cooperation among all security agencies in Lebanon in order to prevent and deal with terrorist attacks.

The audience was able to hear the main objectives of the AVSEC Lebanon project and expected outcomes from planned activities. One highlight from the event was a 3-minute promotional video prepared by the project that highlighted what has been achieved so far, and what is to come for the AVSEC Lebanon project, including procurement of state of the art equipment for Rafic Hariri International Airport. 

Background

The project is the first-ever aviation security action funded by the EU in Lebanon, and aims to improve coordination and cooperation among airport security agencies, increase their surveillance and security capacities, and boost infrastructure through the provision of equipment and infrastructural support, aimed at reducing the risk of terrorists and other criminals using the airport.

This EU project started on 1 September 2018 with funding in the amount of 3.5 million Euros, and a duration of 18 months.

The main beneficiaries of this action include the Airport Security Apparatus and CERSA. Other entities of relevance encompass the Lebanese Armed Forces, Internal Security Forces, General Security and the Lebanese Customs Administration. Not to forget the main indirect beneficiary of this action, the Lebanese citizens and travelers through Rafic Hariri International Airport, who will profit the most by achieving the projects’ objectives. 

Besides ongoing Capacity Building Activities including expertise exchange to European countries, Airport Security will benefit from state of the art equipment for explosive detection, explosive detection dogs and an improvement in terms of infrastructure. CERSA will be upgraded in terms of equipment for training purposes to allow the operation of soon to be installed equipment at the airport and to improve its role as a platform for training development and delivery.

 

More information on AVSEC Lebanon can be found here.

A video about the project can be found here.