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

Carbon emissions per passenger decrease more than 50% since 1990

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) published information confirming that carbon emissions per passenger have declined by more than 50% since 1990.

First E175-E2 jet completes its maiden flight

The Embraer E175-E2 made its inaugural flight today from the company’s facility in São José dos Campos. The E175-E2 is the third member of the E-Jets E2 family. The maiden flight kicks off a rigorous 24-month flight test campaign.

Jasmin Airways obtains AOC

The new private Tunisian airline Jasmin Airways has obtained its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the national civil aviation authority. Acting Transport minister, René Trabelsi, told Anuradha Deenapanray Chappard that

Wizz Air announces proposed establishment of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi

Wizz Air has announced that it has reached agreement in principle for the establishment of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in partnership with Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company.

Qatar Airways launches augmented reality game with Facebook

Qatar Airways has launched a new Augmented Reality (AR) experience that allows customers to play an innovative football game where they must ‘Blink to Score.’

Flydubai touches down in Krabi

Flydubai’s inaugural flight has touched down in Krabi in Thailand, becoming the first UAE-based airline to offer flights to the popular holiday destination.

Sofex SK2611020420
See us at
AVAFA20BT2607050320SaudiAirshow21SK2011180221AVMENA20 BT1309100620Sofex BT2611020420