IATA reveals new security measure to replace existing system

by Emily DUNBAR on December 16, 2010

Airline industry body IATA revealed plans on Tuesday to update lengthy and intrusive passenger security screenings at airports with a new design aimed at targeting ‘bad people’ not ‘bad items’.

Under the scheme, travellers could be led down one of three tunnels and depending on biometric data profiles and flight booking data, they could be pulled aside for additional screening. According to those behind the project, it could be introduced in just two to three years if governments cooperate.

According to IATA director-general Giovanni Bisignani, the existing system forces everyone to go through similar procedures of removing laptops, taking off shoes, and it creates a horrible mess. However, he said that the new system it would be more efficient to locate ‘people’ that are threats and not objects.

In a press conference at the body’s headquarters in Geneva, the plans were unveiled for the innovative security proposals. He said that passengers would be assessed for risks and if flagged, appropriate security checks would then follow.

Airport security has been mushrooming since the US was attacked on 11 September 2001. However, growing anger over invasive procedures have led industry bodies to return to the drawing board for ideas.

IATA global security director Ken Dunlap, said the new system would shy away from racial or ethnic profiles and instead focus completely on persons deemed ‘a risk’. Dunlap said a full version of the system could be working in seven to 10 years time.

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