Subscribe Free
in Airports

Is passenger profiling still the best defence against terrorists?

Posted 2 December 2019 · Add Comment

Seen by critics as an exercise in discrimination, and by proponents as a vital security measure, passenger profiling at airports has long been contentious. However, for aviation security experts it remains the best line of defence against terrorists. GlobalData technology writer Ross Davies looks at the issues.

 

Davies writes: “UK-based aviation security consultant Philip Baum accepts that as a subjective security process, profiling runs the risk of being perceived as racially focussed – just as it is often argued that BAME people find themselves the target of stop and searches more than white people. However, while Baum understands that such charges need to be taken seriously, he considers profiling to be a crucial bulwark in airport security.” 

Baum tells GlobalData: “Airports around the world differentiate between passengers. Only a small percentage of people are pulled aside, but they are pulled aside based on some form of differentiation. Nobody is treated the same.

“Profiling takes place at immigration and customs all the time. That’s people looking at passengers and asking themselves, Is that normal behaviour? Does this meet baseline expectations?

“We can’t say we’ve made a mistake just because we don’t find a weapon on somebody. For all we know, it’s a terrorist doing a dry run, testing the system and seeing whether they can get through

“Any system or technology that treats everybody the same is completely predictable and very easy to work around.

For Baum, successful and efficient profiling boils down to the provision of sound training programmes.

“Training at the beginning is massively important,” he said “For instance, if the only thing airport security screeners are taught is about 9/11 and the Islamist threat to aviation, then you are going to end up with a system that unduly and illogically focuses on people because of their faith. 

“In order to broaden profilers’ scope, you have to make them understand that there’s a whole host of reasons why people might do something that could have catastrophic consequences on board an aircraft. Mental health is probably the number one reason, today.”

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Emirates marks 20 years of operations to Bahrain

Emirates is celebrating 20 years of services to Bahrain.

Boeing postpones first flight of 777X due to poor weather

Boeing is postponing the 777X first flight that was scheduled to take place today, January 23, due to weather.

Etihad Airways celebrates Chinese New Year with special treats for guests

Etihad Airways, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), is celebrating Chinese New Year with a special flight from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai operated by the airline’s unique ‘Choose China’ themed aircraft livery.

Boeing statement on 737 MAX return to service

The Boeing Company has issued a statement regarding the 737 MAX return to service.

Bombardier gets green light for avionics upgrade on Learjet aircraft

Bombardier has announced that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has certified the latest update to the popular Garmin G5000 avionics suite aboard Learjet aircraft.

Etihad Aviation Training secures European approval to train Boeing 777, 787 pilots

Etihad Aviation Training, the specialist training division of Etihad Aviation Group, has become the first aviation company in the Middle East to gain approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to train Boeing 777 and 787

AVMENA20 SK1309100620
See us at
FIL20BT140124720AIME BT0801260220AVAFA20BT2607050320Sofex BT2611020420MRO_BT161219260220SaudiAirshow21BT2011180221AVMENA20 BT1309100620