Monday, July 30, 2007

The Farce of Recent Airport "Security"

My goodness! What have I been going on about in relation to airline security for as long as people have been prepared to listen?! I give you this quote:

"But governments must focus much more on further harmonisation to ensure that effective security is also convenient for passengers."

A particular focus will be the UK, where unique screening policies inconvenience passengers with no improvement in security.

"The only beneficiary is the airport operator BAA that continues to deliver embarrassingly low service levels by failing to invest in appropriate equipment and staff to meet demand. This must stop."

-Quote from International Air Transport Association's head, Giovanni Bisignani. See for the full article on the BBC.

The spineless BAA could only counter by suggesting that the policies had been introduced by the government. Did you consider trying to influence that, BAA? No, having too much fun making passengers lives a misery.

The fact is that the latest security measures involving only having one bag and severely restricting liquids going through are a pathetic waste of time and a massive inconvenience. Around the world now tens of thousands of security officers spend their time not looking for suspicious articles, instead combing every bag for plastic bottle shaped containers. Want to take a bomb on board, here's what you do Osama - put it in a Camelbak pouch (plastic sack of water with thin tube coming out, for trekking), or take a zip up suitcase with the entire thing filled with liquid. They'll never spot that! I know this as I've been through security at Heathrow a few times with liquid in my Camelbak, and they've never noticed. I actually feel less safe now that the only danger they are capable of spotting are 500mm bottles of mineral water.

Furthermore, it is not viable to get liquid explosives on board in sufficient quantities. Read more analysis here:

And as for tweezers etc, note that there's no issue with taking glass bottles on board, which smashed on a surface are a potent weapon. Why has nothing been done about duty free dangers - simple - commercial considerations, imagine the loss of profit if passengers weren't able to splash out on perfume and booze before boarding the plane - currently the security measures profit the airport shops as passengers must buy toothpaste, water etc airside.

I'm tired of people accepting this incompetence because they're glad that the bombers didn't succeed, and that it's a difficult job because someone has to do it, etc etc. It's not true, as the IATA, the International Air Travel Association head has now confirmed. Now BAA, where do I send the bill for the nice corkscrew I had confiscated, or will it take a class action for you to own up to your, and I quote, "embarrassingly low levels of service" with "no increase in security"?

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