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sterile airside areas at airports

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sterile airside areas at airports

Old 20th Oct 2015, 15:41
  #1 (permalink)  
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sterile airside areas at airports

Dead tired, I left my bag unattended for a few seconds, in a quiet corner of the arrival area, while I was checking my phone, after I had cleared customs. 2 police officers took the bag away, it took only seconds, (we live in the time of bomb scares). I ran after them into the lost and found office nearby. Needed to fill out a form, then a funny lady opened a door to the sterile airside area..."you need to go back here, and clear customs". -"Really darling, but I already did". -"really". Ok that was only a 40 second detour, no big issue, but what's the point of having "sterile airside areas" if any clown who forgets a bag gets to bypass the silly pat-downs, scanners, and security checks?
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 16:24
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Buttonpusher
 
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Write youreslf up ...here's a pen.

Security seems to make stuff up as they go along, I say seems because what's acceptable one day is not the other.

I had solid deoderant, It says the word solid on it. I was chided for it not being in my quart bag and it being over 3 oz.

I asked nicely why, I was told it could be melted down and made into a liquid ! which opened up a whole new world, but I accepted it and got a smaller "solid" liquid.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 16:39
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"Mildly" Eccentric Stardriver
 
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You say you were in the arrivals area, having cleared customs. What part of the scanning, pat-downs did you avoid? As far as I'm aware, they only apply to departing passengers.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 16:51
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I think he's saying that someone may be able to bypass security and enter the sterile area by pretending to lose bags. Should be reported so the procedure can be changed.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 17:04
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Herod, I "lost" my bag outside the sterile area, but to reclaim it, I was forced to get into the supposedly sterile area, without any checks, "to clear customs". I'll be happy to demonstrate this to anyone who wants to know. Peekay4 got it right.
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 17:14
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say goodbye to your Pre-TSA clearance, having revealed a loophole
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Old 20th Oct 2015, 21:42
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Sir George Cayley
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You are safe until you arrive in arrivals.

See all those people waiting? Some have cards with names on. Some wear chauffeur type uniforms and others look like excited friends and relations.

One of them has a knife and without warning will start stabbing you whilst shouting "God is Great" over and over.

He doesn't care that a security person will shoot him dead within seconds, he's booked his stairway to heaven and more flange than he can imagine.

So go with the flow in secure areas, smile and nod and do as you are told. Then take a deep breath and enter the real world.

SGC
 
Old 21st Oct 2015, 08:16
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Security at airports is merely a concept. The "security" process you witness is pure theatre and exists only to demonstrate "something" is being done. But the main protagonists are answerable to nobody and being quasi official they can and will do whatever they want; they have time on their side. You however, have to catch flight. Therefore, as SGC recommends and go with the flow.

PM
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 08:47
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This happened in arrivals, post customs, only the Star Trek door to a hoard of taxi drivers to go - don't see how anybody was going to get on another plane here - so what's the issue? Also think that the airport is going overboard giving pat downs to people at this point.....

Or did the OP mean 'Immigration' not 'Customs'?
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Old 21st Oct 2015, 10:32
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It was a customs, not immigration. Since it's a European airport, there's no immigration for the Schengen area. You can backpedal from the baggage claim area to anywhere in the transit area. This isn't a huge scandal, it's no big deal. There's a trade-off between "security" and practical considerations. Years ago, I occasionally needed to visit various facilities on the apron in that airport, and I would take either my car (which was registered with the airport authority, properly authorized, and had a sticker to enter), or my motorbike (which didn't have a sticker and wasn't registered because that wasn't needed for motorbikes)...4-5am in the dark, the first 3 times someone ventured out of their booth to check my badge (but there was no way they could see my face inside the helmet), after that I was usually just waved through. But to make the process more secure, there were double gates, one opened, I drive inside, it closes behind me, and then the next one opened. Someone had thought that out, to prevent unauthorized entries Was my car or motorbike ever checked for anything...no. Did I sometimes drive on sightseeing trips around the airport for no particular reason...yes. Did I have a radio...no. Did I cross runways...yes. Had anyone told me how/where to drive, or not...no. Did we have football tournaments next to the runway, with a barbecue and copious amounts of various fluids...yes. Did some people drive home slightly inebriated (definitely above the 0/00 limit for the airport)...yes. Did the police bother them...no, they participated in the football tournament.

My point is just that confiscating yoghurts and water bottles is mostly a theater, a show, to make people feel "secure". Airport security is...mostly an illusion. Exactly as PM said.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 10:22
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My point is just that confiscating yoghurts and water bottles is mostly a theater, a show, to make people feel "secure".
A common, but lazy and poorly thought out statement. AQ attempted to bring down aircraft in 2006 with liquid peroxide explosives, and that knowledge wasn't lost merely because the perpetrators were brought to justice. So liquids have to be screened. Confiscations only happen when people can't follow simple instructions.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 11:23
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A common, but lazy and poorly thought out statement.

in my humble opinion, Israel has the best airport security in the world. They're not obsessed with catching yoghurts, instead they use highly trained professionals (interrogators) to interview people. Looking for behavioral cues, not "items". The only problem is, it's expensive. You actually need to train people and pay a decent salary.

So liquids have to be screened

that's the reactive approach to pseudo-security, searching for the same means the last lunatic used. Someone tried to use liquids...so search for liquids. Someone hid something in his shoes, so now we need to screen shoes. Unfortunately, the next lunatic will be more ingenious, and come up with something new.

Last edited by deptrai; 22nd Oct 2015 at 11:41.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 13:02
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Originally Posted by deptrai View Post
A common, but lazy and poorly thought out statement.

in my humble opinion, Israel has the best airport security in the world. They're not obsessed with catching yoghurts, instead they use highly trained professionals (interrogators) to interview people. Looking for behavioral cues, not "items". The only problem is, it's expensive. You actually need to train people and pay a decent salary.

So liquids have to be screened

that's the reactive approach to pseudo-security, searching for the same means the last lunatic used. Someone tried to use liquids...so search for liquids. Someone hid something in his shoes, so now we need to screen shoes. Unfortunately, the next lunatic will be more ingenious, and come up with something new.
I see your logic and ask, are you really saying that because it has already been done, they shouldn't check for it again? Sure it might be reactionary but not without merit.

As regards the 'interrogation' that you mention in Israeli security. You could also argue that there is no merit to anything to do with screening in such an overt manner because the 'lunatics' are actually highly prepared for such.

I would imagine there is plenty going on behind the scenes that you might not consider.

Perhaps your reaction to your event should have been that you left a bag unattended and it was dealt with within seconds. Is that not an example of good operation?
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 14:04
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Deptrai: As SecondDog suggests, of course there is work going on to deal with the next set of threats, security is not purely reactionary.
But clearly, industry and authorities will always need to mitigate existing / relatively recent proven threats, hence the screening for liquids. If you can't get your head around the very basic need to do that, I'm not sure there's a point to discussing any of this.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 15:00
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that's the reactive approach to pseudo-security, searching for the same means the last lunatic used. Someone tried to use liquids...so search for liquids. Someone hid something in his shoes, so now we need to screen shoes. Unfortunately, the next lunatic will be more ingenious, and come up with something new.
I do have some sympathy with this position. Whether an incident happens, the authorities always react to it, essentially locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Take not allowing traffic to stop in front of (UK) airport terminals - because a pair of not overly bright terrorists tried to drive a 4x4 into Glasgow airport's terminal. Sure, the great big concrete blocks will deter a repeat, but supposing the next candidates decide to blow their 4x4 up in the confines of a multistorey car park - do we then ban cars from them? The carnage could be equally as great.

Terrorists, at least the brains of the outfits, aren't stupid, they are often well educated and are unlikely to use the same modus operandii twice. Putting ever tighter restrictions in place following each event, ensures that the terrorist wins, without losing a single operative.

Surely the way ahead is to have a more targeted covert approach to security rather than the blanket approach as happens today.
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Old 22nd Oct 2015, 16:21
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
I do have some sympathy with this position. Whether an incident happens, the authorities always react to it, essentially locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Take not allowing traffic to stop in front of (UK) airport terminals - because a pair of not overly bright terrorists tried to drive a 4x4 into Glasgow airport's terminal. Sure, the great big concrete blocks will deter a repeat, but supposing the next candidates decide to blow their 4x4 up in the confines of a multistorey car park - do we then ban cars from them? The carnage could be equally as great.

Terrorists, at least the brains of the outfits, aren't stupid, they are often well educated and are unlikely to use the same modus operandii twice. Putting ever tighter restrictions in place following each event, ensures that the terrorist wins, without losing a single operative.

Surely the way ahead is to have a more targeted covert approach to security rather than the blanket approach as happens today.
The covert approach is already there. But hey it is not really obvious..... because it is covert and if you do nothing wrong you don't pick it up.

As for preventing cars from driving in to the building, I am pretty sure that is still a good idea. Cynical as it may sound, blowing a car up in a multistory park wouldn't get the terrorists enough impact or death.

It is not logical to say we shouldn't screen for liquids because terrorists won't use them again after the first attempt. There are myriad variations on a theme so security has to evolve with it.

I have yet to go through a checkpoint where I have felt oppressed. And it usually done in seconds if you prepare properly.
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Old 23rd Oct 2015, 07:54
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I have yet to go through a checkpoint where I have felt oppressed. And it usually done in seconds if you prepare properly.
That's the rub; it requires it to be done properly, and often the problems are ignorant passengers, and not just the occasional leisure passenger, but also sometimes the frequent flyer who should know better who don't prepare themselves properly. Then there are the well reported inconsistencies between airports and their security operatives that create yet more problems.

A consistent approach, better trained staff and some sort of mechanism to pull aside unprepared passengers would make life easier for the majority.
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Old 27th Oct 2015, 14:01
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re the liquid screening debate - there's people here who know much more about airport security than me - so here's a serious question from a naive soul: if we have to discard (most) liquids because they could be explosive, why do most airports put them into a trash can in an busy area, where there's usually a lot of people?
if they're potentially explosive, wouldn't it make more sense to discard the water bottles and yoghurts into some kind of explosion-containing, special bomb-disposal device far away, and get rid of the danger in a safe manner (maybe a controlled explosion)?
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