Tue, Feb 28, 2006 - Page 2 News List

MOI details new rules on media access to airport

LESS LAX Media outlets will have to apply 48 hours in advance for access to restricted areas, but the limitations may be lifted in case of emergencies

By Jean Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) yesterday detailed a new set of regulations on media access into restricted areas at CKS International Airport.

Starting tomorrow, media outlets will have to apply for approval 48 hours in advance for reporters and photographers to enter the airport's restricted areas.

The airport police will forward the applications to the National Police Agency for a case-by-case assessment.

Privacy

Lee said that the decision to restrict access was made to maintain safety and order at the airport and prevent the exposure of government officials' secret visits abroad or the unannounced arrival of foreign political figures.

The changes would also reduce the discomfort of ordinary passengers who otherwise would be inconvenienced by the media.

Lee said the new regulations were written in accordance with international standards and examples, but were still more lax than in most countries.

For instance, the media in Singapore has to apply 10 days in advance for airport access, according to Lee.

48 hours

The National Police Agency originally requested that applications be filed 72 hours in advance, but the ministry decided on 48 hours, Lee said.

In emergencies, these restrictions will not apply, he said.

The interior minister added that better media facilities are now available at the airport, including special media interview areas and press rooms.

Better communication

Lee also stressed the importance of maintaining good communication between the police and the media at the airport.

Lee said that in the UK, airport personnel must supervise reporters who are conducting interviews, but the interior ministry decided against adopting such a regulation.

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