N.Z. to fund multi-million tala airport scanner
The Governments of Samoa and New Zealand have joined forces to secure Samoa's borders and halt the illegal importing of illicit drugs and weapons.
Following the handing over of a $50,000 tala ID card system to Samoa Airport Authority last Thursday, the Minister of Works Transport and Infrastructure says the New Zealand Government will also fund a 3D-CT scan equipment for the Faleolo International Airport.
Olo Fiti Va'ai said the multi-million tala project will be completed in the next 12 months and is funded solely by New Zealand.
He said the equipment’s installation will further enhance border security and help the country detect illegal or unwanted material and equipment being imported into the country.
According to Minister Olo, Faleolo airport is the country’s foremost international gateway, which made it critically important for the assistance that New Zealand is now offering to secure the border.
He expressed confidence that the multi-million tala equipment, upon its installation, will help decrease the number of illicit drugs discovered in the country.
While the current scanning equipment at Faleolo airport is sufficient for departing passengers and incoming luggage, Minister Olo said the commissioning of the 3D-CT scan equipment will “minimise second guessing”.
“With technology evolving each day we need these advanced technologies and equipment to assist us with the work that we do,” Minister Olo said.
He added the CT scan will provide not only one frame, but will also showcase a complete scan of the luggage and cargo contents, and any contraband concealed on passengers.
The equipment as gifts are a “milestone of New Zealand’s commitment to the strengthening of regional security,” according to Minister Olo.
“The current machine or scanner used at the airport will only show one side of your luggage when you arrive,” he added.
“But with the new machines which will be installed and be up and running after twelve months, things will be much clearer and it will be easy to identify whatever is brought into the country.
“With our borders now open and the rise in the number of drugs in the country, this CT scan will be of great assistance to the country and its border security.”
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