Airport Security Hassle

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Heathrow Terminal 3

Almost coinciding with the tenth anniversary of 9/11, this week London has been hosting the Transport Security Expo. Here, topics such as the security problems we all face at airports have been discussed. How long might it be, for example, before we don’t have to empty our pockets of coins, take belts and shoes off unpack laptops and only carry liquids in small containers?
The good news is that technology is around that will enable just that. The bad news is that it still requires tweaking – for want of a better word – and then it needs governments and airports to introduce it. Gillian Ormiston and Yotam Marggalit from a company you will never have heard of, Morpho Detection, gave one presentation that foreshadowed that, in the future, we will just be able to seamlessly walk through an airport with hardly a pause. It seems like Nirvana. And all in a secure environment where technology will replace people who spend hours assessing risks for the benefit or airline – and port – passengers.
It is a daunting thought that over 40% of all the people who work in airports are there for some security purpose. By the end of April 2016, in EU countries at least, we should not have to limit ourselves to small bottles of liquids in our hand luggage. Any size container should be fine. But what of the rest? At some airports now you no longer have to remove shoes. At others, laptop bags are acceptable. But belts, jackets, coins, keys, mobile phones still present problems. So when might that alter? When might this seemless situation be available to all of us who have had to face frustrating delays all in the name of enhanced security? And accepted it I the belief that those introduced requirements have helped make us safer which is more and more being questioned.
Gillian Ormiston suggests that, although the technology to handle most of the problems, we are still a few years from returning to the speedier security days before 9/11. So there is no early return to normality – whatever that is.

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