Security Checkpoints of the Future May Be Tunnels

Posted Dec 21st 2010 11:10 AMUpdated Dec 22nd 2010 09:14 AM


A trade group for the world's airlines thinks it has found a way to make airport security less of a hassle. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is proposing a future airport security tunnel system that would focus on finding "bad people, not just bad objects."

The idea of the three-tunnel system is to speed passengers through airport security checkpoints -- eliminating sometimes intrusive security checks for many passengers, IATA officials say.

Frequent travelers deemed low risk would walk through a "Known Traveler" tunnel, while others would be directed to two other tunnels, either "Normal Security" or "Enhanced Security."

IATA says it's time to do away with a "one size fits all" screening process and use intelligence information, with separate lines for those deemed to pose more of a security risk.

But group officials stress they are not talking about racial profiling.

"It's not based on, the agent looks at you once and makes a decision. The decision is based on data and intelligence that the government already collects. It's not based on appearance. It's not based on skin color," IATA spokesman Steve Lott tells AOL Travel News.

Under the proposal, travelers would identify themselves with a fingerprint, biometric passport or mobile phone boarding pass and be directed to the appropriate line. Security officials would be able to see details such as whether the passenger paid by cash or credit card and names would be checked against security intelligence lists.

All the tunnels would be equipped with sophisticated sensors, metal detectors and other security equipment. And most passengers would be able to walk right through without having to stop for searches of carry-on luggage or having to have a pat down, full body scan or other screening.

"With today's terror threats, we need to be able to find bad people, not just bad objects. We can only do that by combining technology with intelligence. This will allow us to assess passengers for risk with appropriate security checks to follow," IATA CEO Giovanni Bisignani explained at a recent media briefing.

But why is an airline association spending time and resources on a government-run security process?

"At the end of the day it comes down to hassle," Lott says. "The checkpoint of today is 30 or 40 years old and agents don't know anything about the passenger. They (security officers) are just looking at a screen for shampoo bottles and tweezers."

The proposed tunnel system brings "intelligence and data about the passenger to the checkpoint," he says.

"We are concerned there is a lack of long term strategy envisioned," Lott adds. "Government is looking for that silver bullet when it comes to a technology and frankly that silver bullet doesn't exist today. We need to come up with a strategy for the checkpoint where we can increase security and eliminate the hassle."

IATA has already presented its concept to about a dozen countries including the U.S., Lott says. The group plans to refine its proposal next year and hopes to have a pilot test in place by 2013.

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I forgot to mention a movie for you to watch also. I believe it's called 'FIREHOUSE.' It's an older movie, but runs along the same lines as the George Orwell book. Unfortunately it portrays what this country is slowly going to become.

December 23 2010 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Heaven forbid that common sense might prevail and a "suspicious looking" individual might be subject to further screening. Oh no ! ! ! ! that might be considered profiling. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it might just be a duck. But in our current politically correct world, we should forget common sense and subject everyone to the same standards. Wouldn't want to hurt someones feelings compared to saving lives. If we don't keep checking those 80 year old grandmas, the ACLU and other attorneys will have even more business time to clog the courts.

December 22 2010 at 11:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have decided never to fly again due to the Nazi attitude that my Government has taken to "keep me safe"> I hope the industry goes broke.

December 22 2010 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, you maroon,. In that story, the Iranian man turned himself in after he realized he had forgotten to take his gun out of his briefcase - the briefcase TSA had scanned and let through. So how would profiling have helped anyone here? The Iranian man was an honest one. And before any of you yahoos go on and on about people forgetting guns they have deserve anything they get, remember that in Texas people can legally carry concealed weapons anywhere they want to. So I guess that means that most of the population of Texas could conceivably forget they have a weapon on them before they go through security in an airport. But you don't want to profile any of these good old boys and gals, do you?

December 22 2010 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Excuse me??? Didn't I just read about a man of Iranian descent who got on a damn plane with a loaded gun? What does it take to be subjected to 'enhanced security' if an Iranian can get on the damn plane with a loaded gun. Sorry, PROFILE PLEASE!!!!

December 22 2010 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pete staff

It is unconstitutional. We are not required too carry our citizenship documents with us under any law now place.
But that time is on it's way. Police will be able to
use hear say information, too investigate you. This is in the works right now in some cities. Do you feel your right evaporating little by little. Under the quise of your safety being protect. 'Big Brother Is Watching'

December 22 2010 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
doug peterson

with all our technology, why can't we devise a booth that you go into....that would detonate any type of explosive you are carrying along with making bullets fire if you're carrying a gun..the booth would be sound and explosion the only sound you would hear is an airport clerk announcing there's an extra seat on flight number####

December 22 2010 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What with all the new security measures now they're proposing random bag checks on Metro and busses....what's next? Stopping us on the street and demanding "Show us your papers!"? Very Orwellian

December 22 2010 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Papas please i vant to see your papas... zeak hil ... Americans are way to paranoid! Go back the way it was ill take my chances as opposed to giving up liberties that i love. nothing is worth that

December 22 2010 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This screening method will not improve security. Any
determined terrorist will find a way to avoid being
detected. There is nothing wrong with profiling. It
is used successfully in Israel.

December 22 2010 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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