ISLAMABAD - The government of Japan has agreed to extend grant assistance of $27.3 million to the government of Pakistan for two projects, the Project for Improvement of Airport Security and the Economic and Social Development Programme.

The signing for the projects took place between Takashi Harada, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Japan, and Syed Ghazanfar Abbas Jilani, the secretary of Economic Affairs Division (EAD). Under the Economic and Social Development Programme, Japan will provide 500 million Japanese yen (approximately 4.7 million dollars), and 2.392 billion Japanese yen (approximately 22.5 million dollars) for the Project for Improvement of Airport Security (Phase 2)”.

The grant for “the Economic and Social Development Programme” will be used to procure equipment for meteorological observation. It will enable the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and to disseminate the early warnings for climate disaster.

Meanwhile, JICA representative told the newsmen that the Project for Improvement of Airport Security (Phase 2) is a follow-up of the grant aid signed in 2013. In phase one, CAA had procured necessary equipments such as X-Ray examination machines for vehicles, explosive, explosive detection units etc. for Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore airports. Through the second phase project, Japan will provide the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with security equipment for screening of check-in baggage, hand baggage and vehicles at Karachi, Faisalabad, Multan.

 

 and the New Islamabad International Airports, while the phase one project provided security equipment for Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad airports.

This equipment embrace the latest technology matching the international security standards set by the United States and the European Union. By installing this equipment, the risk of security related incidents at the four airports will be reduced, and operation of the airports will be improved. This grant project will definitely help to improve security at international airports of Pakistan through installation of these equipments. Thus, utilisation of this grant will pave the way to safeguard, passengers, their belongings, airlines and its assets, aircraft, national assets and functionaries from the acts of unlawful interference.

When asked that whether it is mandatory to buy the security equipments from Japan, JICA representative said that the equipment will be procured through competitive bidding.

Yasuhiro Tojo, chief representative of JICA Pakistan office, said that this project will support the government of Pakistan to achieve the key objective of the National Aviation Policy 2015 which is “to improve the governance and oversight for the compliance of ICAO standards of aviation safety, security and efficiency” in Pakistan.

Takashi Harada, the acting Japanese ambassador added: “We appreciate the tireless efforts of the government of Pakistan for the socio-economic development and the improvement of the security situation.” He further emphasised that the two grants from Japan will support the work of the government of Pakistan and would strengthen the existing bond of friendship between the two countries.

Earlier, talking to media, Director Security Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Fazal Um Minallah said that they are already meeting the EU standards of security but it is manually done. “Currently we have the capacity to check 220 baggages per hour and if done in details then it comes down to 180” he said. With the execution of new JICA funded project the scanning capacity will be enhanced to 1800 baggage per hour, he added. He said that the project will be completed in 2020. Regarding the New Islamabad International Airport, he said that it will be inaugurated on April 20.