Prime Minister Saad Hariri along with some officials opened new security measures at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport on Tuesday. Passengers can now have a smoother experience in the airport as the newly renovated and expanded departure terminal has opened.
Designed to reduce congestion, among the updated measurements is an underground scanner for checked luggage, which will replace the pre-check-in luggage and body scanners now located at both ends of the departure hall.
That will be easying a lot on the travelers who previously had to pass their luggage through an initial scanner and then go through security before checking in.
The first checkpoint at the ISF will be released, so travelers will go directly to the check-in counters to then continue to security and passport controlpoint. The second checkpoint before entering the airplanes will be released too.
After inspecting the ongoing work and the new procedures taken to facilitate movement in the airport, PM Hariri held a press conference at the General Directorate of Civil Aviation.
In his words, “I wanted to inspect the expansion works to facilitate the entry and exit of travelers. We have been working on this for a while, and I know that the travelers using Rafic Hariri Airport are suffering from this problem. I also wanted to inspect the progress made at the inspection points.”
He then added, “We, as a government still have a lot to do, whether the ministry of public works, the ministry of interior, and all the concerned ministries, so that the traveler can use the airport more easily. Unfortunately, there was a delay that resulted in losses.”
PM Hariri explained that money is needed to be spent on the airport, especially on the maintenance, which will eventuate in generating a large income. He stressed on the need to develop the airport in order to meet with the expected increase in the number of passengers.
Thanking all concerned ministers for their work, Hariri called upon them ‘to do more because the Lebanese citizen will hold us accountable.” He stressed that they [the government body] must respect the opinion of the citizens and provide for their needs. “The government will work hard in the coming days. Things are back to normal and even better,” he concluded.
On both Friday and Saturday last week, Rafik Hariri International Airport reached a high breaking record number of departures. Minister of Public Works and Transportations Youssef Fenianos tweeted, “The number of passengers has reached 23,500 passengers and is expected to exceed 25,000 in the next two days.”
As the number of passengers has been impressive recently, both tourists and Lebanese citizens faced many challenges at the airport and were really upset at the situation. Many expressed their frustration through social media, including artists and renowned people.
The Minister of Telecommunications, Mohamed Choucair, also told a reporter that, approximately within a week, high-speed fiber optic internet will be introduced at the airport. Travelers will then benefit from the airport’s wireless network for up to two hours, instead of the current allowance of 30 minutes.