UPDATE: The US awards grant to help improve security at three Libyan airports

By Sami Zaptia.

The U.S. Government has (Logo: Social Media).

The U.S. Government has awarded a grant to US company Culmen to provide counter terrorism security at three key Libyan airports (Logo: Social Media).

London, 8 March 2019:

The US Department of State, Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism, has awarded a contract to a US company, Culmen International, to provide security at three Libyan airports, Culmen announced yesterday.

Culmen International, a leading provider of international security, logistics and technology solutions in over 100 countries on six continents, announced that it had been awarded a grant from the Department of State, Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism to implement the Libya Airport and Aviation Security Program.

The contract involves increasing Libyan airport security, its capacity to monitor terrorist threats, screen against terrorist transit, and develop standard operating procedures to mitigate such threats at three key airports through assessments, equipment procurement, training, and the development of a national aviation security strategy.

The Libyan Airports Authority has since confirmed that “initially” the three “key” airports will be Mitiga, Tripoli International and Misrata airports. The implication being that other airports could be added. It confirmed that the project is entirely funded by the US grant.

“Given the centrality of Libya’s civilian airports to many recent conflicts, and their vulnerability to terrorism, a clear and urgent need has emerged for innovative ideas to improve the security of Libya’s airports consistent with international standards. Team Culmen is excited to get to work helping to restore international flights to and from Libya,” said Dan Berkon, CEO of Culmen International.

It will be recalled that in January this year, the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) wth Libya’s Airports Authority to supply it with explosives detectors.

The MoU was part of the establishment of joint cooperation between the Libyan Ministry of Transport and the British Ministry of Transport, in the initial stage  aimed at raising the level of security at Libya’s airports by providing security devices and equipment.

The MoU also included the training of members of Libya’s security personnel in using the supplied devices.

Whilst the UK-Libya MoU is simply an MoU, the US Department of State has, according to Culmen, provided a financial grant to US company Culmen to actually carryout the counter terrorism security work.

It is not clear if the two UK and US offers compliment each other and fill two different needs or compete with one another.

The fact that both the US and UK have suddenly at the turn of 2019 taken interest in Libya’s airports could be a sign that there are indeed advanced plans to allow international carriers to return to Libya.

It will also be recalled that the Libyan government held a conference on PPP in the airports sector and the Italian consortium that has been awarded the contract to build two terminals at Tripoli International Airport has recommended its work at the site – in February.

Update 10 March:

The Libyan Airports Authority has since confirmed that “initially” the three “key” airports will be Mitiga, Tripoli International and Misrata airports. The implication being that other airports could be added. It confirmed that the project is entirely funded by the US grant.

 

UK signs MoU with Libyan Airports Authority to supply explosives detectors

 

Work on Tripoli International Airport site resumes

 

Conference on PPP in airports sector held in Tripoli

 

 

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