Our Commerical Director Jim Termini speaks with BBC News about the Egyptian plane crash. Click on the below image to see the interview or read the interview transcript below.
Chris Rogers: We are just going to return to our top story now in the Sharm el Sheikh Security concerns, Jim Termini has joined me. Jim is a former Airbus A321 pilot, the same type of plane that exploded the Russian airliner. Look, it doesn’t take a genius to work out perhaps why they are separating people from their luggage, is that a security measure that can do the trick if they do have concerns about bombs on board?
Jim Termini: It’s certainly a very big part of it, looking at the damage to the aeroplane, looking at the publicly available imagery that’s being presented; it looks very much like a reasonably sized IED, I’d say from the blast damage we can see, which would indicate either cargo, hold baggage or inflight supplies.
Chris Rogers: But none of this is confirmed yet.
Jim Termini: No
Chris Rogers: Investigators still have to determine if it was a bomb on board, but we have seen a reaction to intelligence today, haven’t we, and you think it’s pointing in that direction?
Jim Termini: Yes, for me the only missing smoking gun at the moment is explosive residue really. I think once explosive residue is confirmed or denied, that will answer many of the questions.
Chris Rogers: Does the Black Box tell us much?
Jim Termini: The Black Box will give a lot of information. It will give the noise of the explosion, it will indicate how the aircraft reacted to the explosion in terms of pressurisation, speed, altitude and a whole range of other parameters.
Chris Rogers: Ok, if we are looking at terrorism and we are looking at tourism once again being targeted in a horrible, vile, violent way. How safe can we be as passengers on aeroplanes flying to holiday resorts?
Jim Termini: Anywhere as the security that’s applied to the airport and to the aircraft, if we consider the aircraft to be the focal point of any type of intended attack against aviation, the more we can protect the aircraft itself, the easier it is. But having said that there are so many routes to get something on board an aircraft if you want, it’s very difficult to defend completely and as you have said almost impossible to defend to a hundred percent.
Chris Rogers: I mean, we could separate customers from luggage. That could be a security measure that continues for a long time. Bu that’s going to cost isn’t it?
Jim Termini: It is and the inconvenience factor as well is not nice either, I think the reason for the separation would be that we want to pay particular attention to the hold baggage. We’ll subject it to a battery of tests, much more than is mandatory at the moment and then that way we can be sure that when that hold baggage is loaded onto the aircraft it is free from an explosive device.
Chris Rogers: Ok, let’s just speculate an absolute worst case scenario that an explosive device can still be taken on an Airbus A321 in hand luggage or on a person’s body; let’s not forget we have seen things like the shoe bomber, haven’t we? How much explosive could you really get on your body or in a small piece of hand luggage that could do enough damage to take that plane down? What does it take?
Jim Termini: Not a lot to be honest and the limits of detection are such that we know what the parameters are, what the equipment will detect, so actually even in this modern age, in some cases the best application is the good old fashioned body search.
Chris Rogers: Yes, security on the ground really.
Jim Termini: And a great example of that was the underpants bomber, who had clearly looked how he wanted to get his device on board the aeroplane, and he clearly knew how to defeat the technology that we had in place, both in Africa and in Europe and he just put it somewhere where it was unlikely to be detected and the technology wasn’t there to detect it.
Chris Rogers: Testing times for aviation and airport security.
Jim Termini: Very
Chris Rogers: Jim, thank you very much for coming in and talking to us.
Call +44 (0)1302 288360 to speak to our team