Friday, October 20The Voice of London

Airport Security Caught Sleeping?

In December 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in a terrorist bomb. All 270 passengers and crew were killed and only one man has ever been convicted, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi.

Words: Grace Faulkner, Subeditor: Eireann Beardon

Most travellers have experienced a problem at airport security regardless of the country you are in. You may have been subject to an interrogation in Dubai or dazed through security without even showing your passport in England. It’s startlingly obvious that some airports do lapse in security from time to time, even 14 years on from 911 when the security reins were tightened.

We are all aware of the standard rules when preparing for the airport, a major task before even getting on the plane: arriving two hours early, no liquids in your hand luggage above 100ml, make up and perfumes in a clear plastic bag and the most recent piece of regulation enforced in 2014, all electronic devices must be charged and be able to be turned on if requested.

With all of these rules set out for every passenger to follow, how could it be possible in this day and age for someone to take an explosive device on board? This is the tragedy that unfolded in Sharm El-Sheikh.

 

Turkish airbus 737-800. Source: Turkish Airlines Press Office
Turkish airbus 737-800. Source: Turkish Airlines Press Office

In the immediate response, Turkish Airlines have sent their own airport security teams to screen passengers flying from Sharm El-Sheikh into Turkey and will only allow flights to operate in day light hours. In turn, other countries like the U.K. put a hold on flights going into and out of the popular Egyptian resort. After Saturday’s events, it is clear foreign airports, particularly within region of the ISIS stronghold, will have their security procedures tightened.

Due to the terror threat being so high for the U.K. and the U.S. various security measures have been introduced as and when required in an attempt to make our airports safer.

Last year, passengers travelling on American bound flights were put through intrusive body searches and planes were searched twice before passengers were allowed to board. These checks are now more relaxed, however the introduction of full body scanners at most U.K. airports now allow for a more in depth search to be carried out, seemingly showing security is very much at the forefront of the Governments minds. In the U.S., the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are in charge of checking all airport security levels and performing random checks themselves in an attempt to stop illegal items being taken on board. However it has been said all they have been found to do is catch illegal immigrants entering the country.

 

Airport security. Source: Flickr
Airport security. Source: Flickr

Agreed, these checks can add a lot of time onto your journey and sometimes seem overboard, however in light of recent events, all of these checks now seem very necessary. Below is a look at some of the major events that happened around the world that have influenced aviation and airport security.

Source: Grace Faulkner at PikToChart
Source: Grace Faulkner at PikToChart
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