Sofia Airport Probe Shows No Violations in Luggage HandlingSociety | July 10, 2011, Sunday // 11:17| views
In the first half of 2011, the Sofia Airport staff handled about 1 250 000 pieces of luggage. File photo
The probe of the Sofia International Airport had not established violations that would become the grounds of revoking the operator's license.
The news was reported by the Bulgarian Ministry of Transport.
The probe was conducted on the order of Transport Minister, Ivaylo Moskovski, after Bulgarian liberal MEP, Antonyia Parvanova, alarmed about an alleged organized crime group involved in systematic thefts from luggage, saying herself and her mother have fallen prey of the scam.
The probe involved checks of the technology of processing the luggage, staff qualifications and safety measures.
The luggage processing is carried out by the Terminal Services Department with a staff of 250, with each one of them hired after a two-step clearance check.
The 250 include 135 loaders, working in 4 shifts. 121 have high-school diplomas, and 13 have college degrees. They have all been trained and certified for the type of work they do.
The Commission in charge of the probe points out that hundreds of tons of luggage are being processed, triggering possibilities of damage and illegal access to some pieces of luggage.
The Commission has further established some technology faults of the luggage transporting line, leading to damage and had provided recommendations for their removal. The damage is also due to overloading of the luggage carts and of suitcases, causing breaking of their handles, which is not the operator's fault.
According to the airport's data, in the first half of 2011 about 1 250 000 pieces of luggage have been processed – there are 2 843 claims of lost luggage with 127 still active; 570 cases of damage, and 10 claims for items missing from suitcases – all in the average international norms of 3 to 6 pieces from every 1 000.
The Commission's probe of security measures has established that the luggage check by X-Ray is performed by well-trained personnel, according to the requirements of the National Program for Civil Air Transport Safety. The same conclusions have been listed by the European Commission after the end of their probe from December 2nd and 3rd, 2010.