Egypt Hijacking Brings Airport Security Into Question


A troubled Egyptian Citizen hijacked EgyptAir flight 181 on Tuesday, March 29. This hijacking was not done by terrorists, but just by a troubled man who raced past security. With this hijacking occurring, along with several others in Egypt over the past year, many wonder how safe Egypt’s airports are, and how good their security is.

Something just didn’t seem right on EgyptAir flight 181. After taking a while to take off, the plane seemed off course, and was crossing the sea. It was odd for a flight going to Cairo, which obviously didn’t require this. There was no word, and no statement given by the flight attendants as they were just hijacked. Sief En Mustafa, an Egyptian man with a criminal record, was identified as the hijacker.

It was later found that the man had just walked through security undetected, with no check from the airport workers.

In the aftermath of a different EgyptAir bombing in October 2015, the U.S. and Russia have stopped flights into Egypt.

“The fact that the UK and Russia decided not to fly into Sharm el-Sheikh Airport affected a lot of businesses and cast a shadow overall on the destination and, accordingly, we lost consumer confidence,” Hisham Zaazou, the minister for tourism, told USA TODAY. “That affected us tremendously, I have to admit. That’s why we’re trying to change course and move in a better direction.”

Before 9/11, U.S airports had similar security measures to Egypt. They didn’t have the security they do today, and people could easily walk through the airport and onto their plane. That is what happened in Egypt, except it’s in 2016. This is the eighth hijacking on an EgyptAir plane in the last 40 years, proving that Egypt’s airports should have better security in this age of terrorism.

This hijacking is not the only incident in Egypt over the past few months. In October, a similar incident occurred with another man just walking through security, and onto a plane. All of these incidents pose an important question that tourists traveling to Egypt are asking: “Are Egypt’s airways safe?”

“Egypt lacks good technology in my eyes. They are not up to date on what a good airport has, and that hinders their security,” said Kaden Welsh, a Woodgrove Freshman, and frequent traveler.

Egypt needs to fix this issue to make their airports safer. Travelers will continue to have doubts about Egypt’s security unless changes are made. No one will want to enter their country if incidents like this continue to happen.

While this is an issue, there are ways Egypt can fix it. “Egypt should devote more of their budget to national defense and screening, and look towards western countries for examples on how to do this correctly,” said Sean Reardon, a Woodgrove Student.

Whether Egypt takes these steps to improve their security in the coming months remains to be seen.