View Full Version : Sensible security thinking from New Zealand

Pax Vobiscum
15th Dec 2004, 15:15
See The New Zealand Herald (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?ObjectID=3600794)

I'd like to nominate Mark Everitt to be the next head of Homeland Security, but I suspect he's far too sensible to accept.

15th Dec 2004, 15:44
I quote from the article: "General manager Mark Everitt, a former police detective with 21 years' experience, said if he had his way passengers would be able to take Swiss Army knives and other small, sharp objects on board domestic flights."

But passengers CAN take Swiss Army knives on board now... if they fly from a certain large UK airport! I did it purely by accident earlier this year, so did someone I met a few days ago... They'd flown back and forth to Spain many times carrying the same old hand-bag. Recently, whilst cleaning the bag they found a long-lost Swiss Army knife under the lining. It must have been through "Security" half a dozen times!

15th Dec 2004, 17:46
I worked in the Caribbean for a while and had to clear security for every 7 minute flight. Needless to say there were no clear guidelines given to the security staff about pilots (island hoppers = small) taking such things as Leatherman Supertools and screwdrivers in their backpacks. Let's face it, you always have a use for these things on the piston boneshakers because something comes loose somewhere that can be tightened without contravening any maintenance rules or any other law.

But of course the line was "no knives, sharp objects etc.."

My response was always that if I want to kill everybody in an Islander, in which everybody has access to the cockpit area because it's just a long cabin with a pilot in front, I take off and head for the nearest hill. I certainly don't need to trim it out and proceed to climb over the seats and slit people's throats (of course they would all let me do this because theoretically it's possible and therefore WILL happen). The French carriers always had crash-axes in the cockpit area, even on Islanders, which are in reach of passengers. So who cares if the passenger has nail scissors?

Then came the reply that a passenger might take my knife or screwdriver and use them against me. Not very likely because they were always in my bag and not visible. As you can imagine this gets very tedious when it happens every day.

As for the large airports: you can usually buy whatever sharp objects you need after clearing security, in the duty-free shops, such as nail-clippers with blunt nail files, scissors etc..
Not to mention the cutlery which you eat with or even the duty-free glass bottles, the list goes on and on.

It's not the objects that are harmful to people but the individuals who have the intention of doing harm. That's where the focus needs to be. By all means use racial profiling if you have to and if it helps in a meaningful way. I'm not Arabic, I don't look middle-eastern, I don't have a big beard and am not called Abdul but shit, if it were Caucasians/Europeans committing these acts of terrorism against others I would fully understand if every country in the world insisted in checking me out thoroughly before being allowed on board.

And yes, I've also been through plenty of airports with all my shit in my hand baggage and nobody said a word. Perhaps if it looks like a pile of crap all mixed up on the screen then it must be and isn't worth looking at. Makes you wonder.

Ahh, that feels better.

A and C
15th Dec 2004, 18:25
Guys how long is it going to take for it to dawn on you that airport security has nothing to do with the protection of aircraft , passengers or the general public it is first and formost for the protection of goverment ministers from the press.

The civil service are also doing a good job of protecting there sixes just as the airport managments are but the rules are NOT ment to stop terrorists just protect the jobs of the vested interests.

Why do you think that the rules on what a crew member can take on board an aircraft vairy from airport to airport ? It is all down to what that airport security director sees a threat to his job and the local regulations are usualy far more restrictive that the DfT require !.

The real problem is that crews dont know what is likely to be the next thing to be "banned" one airport has outlawed cameras and this when the crews then can walk past a number of airside shops selling the very same cameras !!.

Laugh you may at these idiots with there little Hitler mentality and stupid rules but they dont give a damm about air safety as a number of comments in the engineering section of CHIRP will show.

But the biggest problem is that all the time they force these stupid rules they are bringing the security issue into direpute.

Security in depth is what we need and for this we need ALL the staff on board unfortunatly it is very hard to give security the attention that it should have when it is so blindingly clear that it is just a job protection plan for those on the security bandwagon.

Human Factor
15th Dec 2004, 18:36
Guys how long is it going to take for it to dawn on you that airport security has nothing to do with the protection of aircraft , passengers or the general public it is first and formost for the protection of goverment ministers from the press.

Sad but true.

15th Dec 2004, 20:47
Went past a huge see-through container at MAN the other day. It was full of pen knives, clippers, small scissors etc etc.

Cue F/O in loud stage whisper:

"Cor stone me! look - if you weren't careful you could have someone's toenail off with them !"