The European Union issued a memo to the Public Works Ministry informing it of a decision to stop transporting goods from Beirut airport. Consequently, British Airways announced that it would be the first to implement the EU’s decision by banning the transport of goods from Beirut’s airport as of March 1.

Last July, the EU launched a program designed to ensure the appropriate screening and validation of cargo entering the EU from any third country airport, according to the Airports Council International – a global trade representative of the world’s airports.

Airports that do not meet aviation security screening procedures will be unable to continue doing business in the EU as they will not be authorized to carry any inbound mail or cargo.

As a part of the new program, measures must ensure all cargo and mail carried to the EU are physically screened, or come from a secure supply chain. For Lebanon, this means that carriers will need to update the security programs, processes and screening equipment.

In Friday’s news conference, the public works minister assured that the airport’s shipping center would be equipped with tools that would ensure safe shipment. “There is full coordination between Lebanon’s Civil Aviation and the European Union,” he said.

Lebanon’s airport, which currently lacks explosive detection devices, will be equipped with the tools, and its staff will be trained in their use within two days, Zeaiter announced Friday.

The public works minister did not mention when the detection devices were set to arrive.

Zeaiter vowed to carry out all reforms to meet the EU’s shipping standards.