18:41 GMT +317 February 2019
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    Brave New World

    Does Airport Security Make Us More Secure?

    Brave New World
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    John Harrison
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    The security of airports is complex and difficult. After 9/11, sophisticated and expensive personal search systems were introduced at all major airports. But do all the complex search and procedures actually increase our security?

    Captain Desmond Ross, an Australian commercial pilot and aviation security expert is not certain that they do.

    Airports have become much more than merely transportation hubs in the 21st century. They are crossroads of culture, citizenship, immigrant control, as well as being strategic military objects. Potential migrants’ passports and visas are now checked at the point of departure, rather than at countries’ borders, as more and more border security tasks are outsourced to airports and ports. Airports themselves are ideal terrorist targets: a large number of innocent people are gathered together in one place, they are more or less helpless, and mass media coverage is guaranteed.

    It is a fact, however that most terrorist attacks on airports are headed off by forewarning, through intelligence. Only building airports in the shape and size of armoured buildings would prevent terrorist attacks, and this is not certain. It also seems unlikely that security measures can actually stop a determined terrorist from smuggling weapons on board an aircraft. In short, we need to relook at the whole issue of airport security.

    airport security, transport, aviation, airport