A new era of increased airport security?

Experts say security for staff must be more unpredictable
A complete overhaul of global aviation security is needed following the Metrojet crash in Egypt, senior industry experts are saying, as it becomes clear that flight safety is at risk at many airports around the world.
Security officials in Egypt have launched an investigation into all staff at Sharm el-Sheikh airport who were in contact with luggage for the Russian plane, according to press reports.
The aircraft crashed 23 minutes after take-off, killing all 224 people on board – probably because a bomb was smuggled on board, experts suggest.
Aviation experts say a new international framework is urgently needed to stop terrorists taking advantage of airport security weaknesses in the future, with stronger checks on airport staff.
“There needs to be an international response in terms of how everybody working in the aviation environment is vetted,” said Matthew Finn, managing director of aviation security consultancy Augmentiq.
“We need to ensure people who come into contact with aircraft in secure areas are the right people and that we are recruiting the right people for those jobs. There needs to be an international framework about how everyone working in the airport is screened and by whom.”
Such security must be more unpredictable and more detailed to confuse future terrorists, security expert Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security International, agreed.
“There would be much better security if you had no idea what type of screening process you were going to go through,” he said. “One person went through advanced imaging technology, one was going to be swabbed, one was going to be frisked – from a terrorist’s point of view that’s a nightmare. Why don’t we do the same with airport employees?”
He added: “Until we address those inherent failures we are always going to have something that on the surface looks good, where passengers can say ‘Security was really good because they took my bottle of water away’, which is meaningless in 2015. We need to move away from security theatre into security reality.”
Investigators in Sharm el-Sheikh are also reported to be questioning staff at the hotels the victims of the crash were staying at, as they try to ascertain how a bomb could have been smuggled on board.
The Guardian


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