Airport security should focus on “bad people”, not “bad things”

Airport security should focus on “bad people”, not “bad things”

Published: 15/12/2010 – Filed under: News »

IATA’s Director of Security and Travel Facilitation says that the next generation of airport security checkpoints should create “a total security picture of the traveller” rather than relying on “object finding”.
Speaking at this week’s IATA Global Media Day in Geneva, Kenneth Dunlap said that today’s “one size fits all” screening process “has created long lines, inconvenienced passengers, and generally not resulted in higher detection levels of threatening objects”.
Dunlap said that recovering economies and growth in regions such as China and India has led to questions as to whether today’s security checkpoints can handle the job of processing passengers numbers, which are expected to hit 2.5 billion by the end of 2011.

He added that passengers are increasingly more vocal about the inconvenience of security measures, citing the example of US passenger rights groups calling for a national opt out of body scanning last month prior to Thanksgiving. Dunlap warned that while new technology (such as body scanners) has a role in security screening, you “can’t just put a new radio in a car and claim you have a new car
Referring to the need to create “a total security picture of the traveller”, Dunalp said that “there is a better way to screen passengers than exclusively relying on ‘object finding’ as we have for 40 years”, and warned that “finding toenail clippers doesn’t mean you have found a terrorist”.
Looking to the future, Dunlap said that physical screening should be combined with electronic data pre-screening, and “advanced behavior detection through intelligent questioning of passengers based on information”. Based on the outcome of these screening techniques travellers could be split into “known traveller”, “regular” and “enhanced” lanes, with the amount of screening in each lane tailored to the security picture of the passenger.

Dunlap envisages the result being travellers able to walk uninterrupted through a “tunnel of technology” as pictured in the IATA concept images below, “where security and customs processing occurs in a transparent manner”.

Dunlap said that IATA is “working with like-minded associations, manufacturers, academics, and airlines to refine this concept”, before adding that “we won’t settle for anything less than a revolution in the way passengers are treated at the airport”.
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Report by Mark Caswell


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