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More serious airport security measures for flights to the USA

By . 07.01.2010

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Security measures at Riga International Airport have been intensified for flights to the USA.

The airport's press secretary, Martins Langrats, confirmed that passengers leaving from Latvia for the USA are being check more thoroughly. Heightened security checks have not been introduced for other routes, the "Telegraf" newspaper reports.

There is currently one flight from Riga to the USA per week. Flights on the route Tashkent-Riga-New York are provided by "Uzbekistan Airways".

The US Embassy in Latvia confirmed for newspapers that travelers heading for the USA by plane should be prepared for more thorough checks. However, for the moment, no general changes have been defined for immigration or visa policies. The only change is that as of January 4, persons infected with HIV will now be able to travel to the USA.

As has been reported, at the beginning of the week, Washington announced that as of Monday, passengers heading for the USA will undergo more strict security checks; moreover, these will be applied to all passengers travelling from 14 states with increased terrorist risk.

The new security arrangements are being introduced ten days after a Nigerian man associated with "Al Qaeda" attempted to blow up a US passenger jet as it approached the city of Detroit.

According to officials, any passenger heading for the USA could be randomly selected for more thorough security checks. The new rules come into force on Monday at 7 am Latvian time.

The four countries which the US State Department has recognized as supporters of terrorism are Iran, Cuba, Syria and Sudan. However, all passengers from a total of 14 states will be more thoroughly checked, including those from Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia.


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