Airport International News - August 2007
Airport Security – The Real Terrorist Threat
Posted by Paul Fiddian on 03/08/2007 - 15:08:29
The Editor of Airport International, Andy Fields, has recently commented on the subject of Airport Security. The News Item below is a summary of Mr Fields’ main feelings and fears on the subject, as detailed to Airport International’s Chief Journalist.
For years now, Mr Fields has been concerned about the potential for terrorist action at airports. The security checks involving single items of hand luggage, liquid restrictions and others are all well and good, he said, but what is really lacking is any form of check for people actually arriving at these airports.
Airports are, by their very nature, crowded places, as people arrive and depart from every corner of the globe. The increased security checks enforced across the UK’s airport network have made the situation more concentrated, with long queues, delays, and more people staying in the same area for longer. This fact received extensive media coverage recently, as papers and websites suggested that these queues were attractive to terrorists. This, said Andy, was disappointing and irresponsible. The media really raised public awareness levels, yet only touched the tip of the iceberg as far as airport security is concerned.
Let’s look at the facts. Airports are used by thousands upon thousands of people every day. Each passenger could be expected to carry bags, suitcases and other items. These are not checked until passengers arrive at check-in, when the usual questions are asked: “Did you pack you own case”, “Have you left it unattended at any time”, etc etc. Great. So, when someone has arrived at check-in, having already passed through the crowds and queued up with many other people, assurances are established that the luggage about to be loaded onto the departing airliner is considered safe. However, what is to stop a potential terrorist exploding any number of devices, contained within his luggage, before he even gets this far?
The devastation that could be caused is unimaginable; a single second of explosion could add a brand new and bloody page to the annals of world terrorism. If that happens, undoubtedly the airport sector will look at ways to ensure it is never repeated. One of the suggestions could well be that all passengers are screened upon entering airport terminals. But, by then, it will be too late.
Mr Fields said, ‘I don’t like even discussing this in the media, but now the issues have been raised, it is time for the airports to make changes NOW to avoid disruption never before witnessed in history.’
It’s a situation waiting to happen.
Source – Airport International’s Chief Journalist
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