A female passenger, JW, who is reportedly a wife of a high-ranking police officer, slapped a Sam Ratulangi Airport X-ray staff after she refused to remove her watch before going through a metal detector, Wednesday.
The aviation security (avsec) staff EW and AM had reported the passenger to police over act of persecution, while JW reported both staff for the unpleasant act.
“The action we took was to make a report and question those three,“ said Airport Police Chief Iptu M. IlhamMattulangi confirming the reporting, Wednesday.
The passenger later was known to be the wife of Brig. Gen. Johan Sumampouw, who serves at the National Resilience Institute (Lemhanas).
“That’s true, [she is] Brig. Gen. Johan Sumampouw’s wife. He serves at Lemhanas,“ said the National Police Spokesperson Setyo Wasisto, Wednesday.
In accordance with the procedure, all passengers are required to remove all metal-made equipment or accessories.
JW who was a passenger of Batik Air ID6275 to Jakarta, refused to take off her watch, yelled to the staff then slapped one of them.
JW was then taken to the airport police office for questioning and mediation, before she continued her flight to Jakarta escorted by police officers.
Transportation Ministry’s legal action
On the other side, Transportation Ministry’s Director General of Air Transportation Agus Santoso considered the incident as a disruption to security and would not hesitate to take legal action for JW.
“As a national aviation regulator, [we] protect the on-duty airline officers. For anyone who interferes the officers who are performing their duties, we’re not reluctant to take legal steps,“ wrote Agus in a written statement.
Aviation officers are protected under Law no. 1/2009 on aviation. This includes all airport staff, both for regulator and operator such as airlines, airports and Airnav.
“The incident was a representation of harassment against all flight officers, not just Aviation Security officers,“ said Agus.