By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

SignUp Now!

Keeping airports safe.

Aug 1, 2010
The recent bombing of Brussels airport, and the downing of a commercial airliner, which departed from a Paris airport, will have heightened the demand for airport security within the United Kingdom. Trying to balance between the safety of the airport, planes and people; and the free movement of passengers and personnel, within an airport environment, is extremely difficult.

Following the incidents in Paris in 2015, security was increased at all Paris airports. With the use of army personnel, police with specially trained dogs and security staff, the airport should have been quite secure. Although there is no proof, speculation about how EgyptAir flight 804 disappeared, may still force Paris airport officials to examine their security procedures at the time the plane departed.

Although airports within the United Kingdom have so far not been attacked (since Glasgow), we need to be alert to any potential security issues. The need for electronic monitoring, as well as using a variety of security personnel, is expected by the public. Well trained and alert security officers from the security services or from private organisations, are one of the keys to safer United Kingdom airports.

As a current member of the European Union, we are still bound by the SAFA (Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft) ramp inspections, whilst planes are on the ground. This should help to protect aircraft, from interference from ground crews, and also from cleaning crews. The same vigilance is shown to air crews who are visiting the United Kingdom.

It seems as though the greatest threat, comes from passengers, and it is because of this perceived threat, that so much pre-screening, and in airport screening occurs. Israel is recognised as having the most rigorous airport checks, but with only about 16 million passengers a year, the in depth passenger checks they carry out are not practicable at major airports like Heathrow.

Well trained airport security staff, who are able to observe behavioural characteristics, may be one of the best assets of an airport. They are mobile and unobtrusive, and are able to work in conjunction with other types of security. They are able scan both passengers and staff who work within the airport terminals. Where dogs are trained to detect explosives or drugs, people are required to observe intent.

Passengers will behaviour differently around police who are armed, or who have trained dogs. They will be wary, possibly worrying that a dangerous situation is imminent. This change in behaviour will mean observing the intent of the passengers could be harder for these officers. The use of trained plain clothes officers, whether police or from private firms, could make an enormous difference in protecting the public and outbound passengers.
Last edited by a moderator:
Top Bottom