Russia checks-in: Moscow pilots security mission at Egyptian airports

Russia checks-in: Moscow pilots security mission at Egyptian airports
Russian inspectors are surveilling airports in Egypt before they seek to resume flights to Cairo, following strained relations after the downing of a flight over Sinai in 2015.
2 min read
12 January, 2017
Inspections are currently taking place in Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh airports [AFP]
Russian experts are currently carrying out safety checks in Egyptian airports ahead of plans to resume flights between the two countries following the crash of a Russian commercial aircraft in Sinai in October 2015.

Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that four Russian experts were carrying out inspections at Sharm el-Sheikh, with another four positioned at Hurghada airport.

The mission is expected to be completed by January 16.

Security checks being carried out included reviewing surveillance footage from airport security cameras and conducting maintenance checks on biometric security systems used to carry out fingerprint and retina scans.

An additional group of Russian inspectors are set to arrive in Egypt between 18 and 20 of January to carry out a final set of checks at Cairo International airport and will include representatives of Russia’s national airline Aeroflot.

Focus will be paid to the airport’s Terminal 2, which will serve as a port for aircraft travelling to and from Russia.

Translation: Press release, Cairo, 11 January – A high-level Russian delegation arrived in Cairo today to inspect security measures at the Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh airports as part of procedures for the resumption of flights between Egypt and Russia, and their visit will last until 16 January.

Russian carriers have suspended flights to and from Egypt since Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed in the Sinai in October 2015 killing all 224 people on board – an event which many maintain terrorism played a role in. 

Moscow is looking to resume flights before the end of March with the intention to first resume Aeroflot flights before allowing EgyptAir to resume flights to Moscow.

Egypt has suffered greatly as a result of the drying up of tourism revenues in the country caused by the October 2015 crash and is currently in the midst of dire economic straits that have seen the Egyptian pound plummet drastically and forced Cairo to secure a $1 billion loan from the World Bank.