Québec Airport Reassures: No Flaws in Security

Québec Airport Reassures: No Flaws in Security

Quebec City (Quebec) 26 September 2015 – The administration of the Jean Lesage Airport expresses that the safety of users and facilities is beyond question, despite Monday’s event during which an aggressive passenger assaulted a staff member at the exit of a terminal.

A citizen who witnessed the scene alerted Le Soleil. The man was amazed that the airport security personnel possess no power of arrest or weapons like a policeman typically would.

By late afternoon, an angry citizen punched an officer of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) who had gone outside to get some fresh air. The officer had simply asked the man to remain polite after he used inappropriate language directed at a parking garage attendant.

The witness reported that the airport security agents that arrived at the scene during the skirmish did not seem to know what to do, especially since they possessed neither handcuffs nor weapons. The suspect fled quickly to a vehicle.

“Our agents are first respondents. They are members of Garda World, a renowned and professional business,” says Mathieu Claise, spokesman for the airport. In total, forty agents are distributed on different shifts.

“In extreme cases, they could stop someone like any other citizen. In 15 years, it’s never happened. They always managed to calm the person down and control the situation,” added the spokesman. He mentions, as an example, the passenger who was banned from flying earlier this year because he was intoxicated. Airport security police intervened and took over.

“The Quebec City police always arrive very quickly in case of emergency and make rounds,” says Claise. “We have a very good collaboration. Nothing gets by them,” he says.

According to him, the police arrived on Monday a little more than two hours after the assault because once the suspect had already begun to flee, there was no more immediate threat or emergency. All that was left to do was take witness testimony. “In our minds, there is no doubt concerning the level of professionalism of our security staff.”

Earlier this week, the spokesman explained that only category 1 airports like the one in Montreal are required to have their own police force. Jean-Lesage Airport, 12th in the country for its traffic, plans to climb into the top 10 in Canda and become a Category 1 airport, especially with the development of a pre-clearance facility for passengers travelling to the United States.

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