Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Question About Airport Security Screening

With all the focus on allowable airline carry-ons, and the proposed pilot project for checked-in passengers wearing tracking bracelets, I have to ask something:

Why do most airports allow the general public to roam airport terminals without ANY security screening whatsoever?

Offhand, I can think of three airports -- Bangkok, Addis Ababa and
Kota Kinabalu -- where all who enter must walk through a metal detector and have any and all bags x-rayed before they are allowed in. I found this eminently sensible when I encountered it, then promptly put it out of my mind.

I'd feel a lot more secure knowing that the hundreds of people milling about a crowded terminal had at least been minimally screened. So why the focus on secure boarding lounges and aircraft? There are just as many, if not more, people in the terminal itself as on board a plane.

So why no screening when you enter the building? It seems just as likely, if not more so, to come a cropper in the terminal as from some shampoo and hair gel at 40,000 feet.