Categorized | National News

MOC Signed For Aviation Security

A memorandum of cooperation for civil aviation security was signed yesterday between The Bahamas and the United States, which will allow visitors to be processed more efficiently and comfortably.

The memorandum was signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fred Mitchell and Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Office of Global Strategies (OGS) in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Victoria Reeder.

Minister of Transport and Aviation, Glenys Hanna-Martin was also on hand for the signing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Cable Beach.

“The Bahamas is currently one of five countries in the world to enjoy US Pre-Clearance privileges and has had the honour to do so since November 4, 1974 when the agreement was entered into force,” Minister Mitchell said.

“The Bahamas is the first in the region and the entire western hemisphere to sign an agreement of this kind and the second to sign worldwide. With tourism being the primary industry in our country the experience of our visitors also includes travel to and from their destination. This is another way in which we are able to maintain our commitment to security while at the same time allowing the visitor to be processed as efficiently and comfortably as possible.”

Minister Mitchell described the agreement as a landmark occasion for tourism for both countries.

“It also positively affects public and private enterprise throughout all aspects of both economies and beyond,” he said.

“This agreement codifies the terms and conditions under which the competent authorities from government will engage in cooperation activities in the area of civil aviation, establishing among other things, screening standards, comparable to those implemented in airports in the USA, for both passengers and checked baggage departing Bahamian pre-clearance airports bound for the US.”

Minister Hanna-Martin said the agreement goes further to strengthen the agreement between the two countries.

“This is an important collaboration between two states that deals with an important issue which is travel which has both economic and social value,” she said.

“This cooperation will allow us to enhance activity to make the process smooth and at the same time to enhance security which is a global activity. This is very important because it solidifies a long standing neighbouring relationship on a number of levels with the United States.”

Ms. Reeder agreed with Minister Hanna-Martin.

“The relevance and importance of this memorandum cannot be overstressed,” she said.

“The Bahamas enhancing its aviation standards as a model for the region is very important. The memorandum allows us to share information quickly and identify those areas where we can learn from each other to strengthen security for both airports in both countries. Having previously travelled to The Bahamas, being able to process at the pre-clearance department in Nassau or Freeport is a far more pleasurable experience than going through Miami or Fort Lauderdale so whatever we can do to further this arrangement is a plus.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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