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European association states anti-terrorist measures must focus on intent

15-Sep-2010 11:01 AM

European Regions Airline Association (ERA) General Manager Technical Services, Nick Mower, stated (14-Sep-2010) anti-terrorist security measures must place greater emphasis on detection of intent rather than detection of means and called for basic passenger profiling instead. As full-body scanners are rolled out at airports across Europe, many concerns have already been raised over health and privacy issues. Mr Mower pointed out that new technology aimed at detecting explosive materials is not only expensive, and may not therefore be available at all airports, but is merely applying another layer of dressing to a bleeding wound without addressing the root cause. [more]

European Regions Airline Association: “It is not the weapon that’s dangerous, but the intention of the person using it. Basic passenger profiling techniques cost nothing and can tell you much about the intent of that passenger and whether they are likely to pose a threat. Yet frequent travellers will be able to testify how often you can pass through airport security without even making eye contact with security agents. ERA has long advocated common ‘one-stop’ security procedures across Europe. However, different levels of threat and risk exist between states and these naturally work against a wholly harmonised process. The procedure should be proportionate to the risk and deliver a quantum improvement in detection capability in order to avoid unnecessary costs and a negative impact on the facilitation of passengers through airport security. It is arguable, for example, that the airport security process for a flight from Europe to the USA is undertaken against a far higher threat level than an inter-island operation using a 30-seat turboprop in the Nordic region. Airport security has a thoroughly bad reputation among air travellers, and the inconvenience of intrusive body searching may lead some passengers to choose alternative modes of transport which have less intrusive security procedures. More thought must be applied to the practicalities of moving passengers through security at airports and the actual passenger experience of this process.” Nick Mower, General Manager Technical Services. Source: European Regions Airline Association, 14-Sep-2010.