View Full Version : Airport Security- An Inside view

14th Feb 2003, 11:46
I have been a reader of this excellant site for over 3 yrs and do enjoy, a lot of the posts, So at last something ,I know a little about, Airport security is no better now than it was 3 yrs ago, in fact it,s getting worse, Having worked for an Airline, I have spent hours checking pilot,s and cabin crews id,s reference,s and background for their airside passes, also engineers and anyone who has to go airside, I cannot get my head round all thease little s@@@s in security uniforms giving professional airline people a hard time, when on the flash of a police or customs and excise warrant card they bow down as through god just come threw, proper Training , salary and motivation and COMMON SENSE IS REQUIRED , BA security audits a joke , having worked with them , free drinks and a nice hotel is their priority

14th Feb 2003, 19:27
To be frank, I don't think you have any grasp on reality...so you have sweated a couplke of drops of blood have you to check references, which are oh so easy to flasify. To check with previous empolyers which of course can't ever be invented. As opposed to a Police/Customs or immigration officer, who has been vetted properly with full access to goverment records and the Police National Computer. Just for your information, Security at Heathrow do not bow and scrape at Police (I can vouch for that first hand, being an ex Heathrow Police Officer), in fact they were obstructive to us to. Being a aviator does not make you immune from security checks just as it doesn't mean you can't drive at 90 in a 30 limit, shoplift or have too much to drink before you fly. All of tha above being things I have dealt with pilots cabin crews and engineers for. Secuirty at some airports may be full of jobs worths but there is sod all point in acting as a child and saying well they don't have to do it why should I.

14th Feb 2003, 20:26
I must agree to a certain extent with both the postings immediately prior to mine.
However yet again I would say that, any security at all be it at airports or the local bus stop, is only as good as the weakest link.
Therefore can someone explain to me exactly why Police Officers,
Customs Officers, members of the Immigration staff and airport senior executives ARE NOT subject to the same security and screening measures as the rest of the travelling passengers and aircrew etc. I would also like to know the reason why certain personnel have immunity from the security and screening procedures.
Fair enough we need security measures for personnel, but surely this must apply to ALL repeat ALL personnel, otherwise it's really a waste of time and a purely cosmetic exercise.
P.S. If my understanding of the position is wrong can someone in authority please advise me.

14th Feb 2003, 20:47
Pilgrim ....rotary? as in Windsor??:)

View From The Ground
14th Feb 2003, 21:51
How can the....for example police.... be required to undergo the same security checks.....after all they are allowed to bring guns airside!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! unlike for example your average pilot passenger or groundstaff member!!! Doesn't seem like much thought has gone into this post just a lot of invective. Perhaps you should target the real cause of our grief..those who make all this security necessary in the first place.....the terrorists!

15th Feb 2003, 10:00
I agree, there hasn't been much though go into some of the above posts.
First exactly what screening are police not subject too? At BAA airports they carry the same passes as everyone else. Unarmed Police are made to walk through metal detectors, however, whatever a Police officer is carring, be it an asp (extendable baton) cs/pepper gas or a firearm he is permitted to carry it. A member of the BAA security is not, so how are they going to remove it? Then what? call another police officer to collect it and promptly conficate it from him....fairly soon you would have the whole station sitting round being detained and even less security!
As I stated in the last post, police customs and immigration are vetted, to a far higher degree than airline staff, cleaners and airport workers. At some stage you have to trust that higher vetting and look to where the lightly threat comes from.
To be honest this thread smaks to me of envy because the control authorities are not under the control of comercial concerns.

15th Feb 2003, 10:20
Just my two bob's worth!
BJCC says that "a Police/Customs or immigration officer, who has been vetted properly with full access to goverment records and the Police National Computer" is OK.
What about the (admittedly few) FBI,CIA, MI5 & Special Branch operative who have been "turned" with disastrous consequences?

15th Feb 2003, 17:45
Pilgrim, so when you state BA Security audits were poor and 'a nice hotel and drink' was the most important issue, how can you really say that?? You say you were one of them, but when 5, 10 years ago?? I understood that the Security team were very good, admittedly I'm referring to around 1998-9 when I met one in DEL, he seemed very thorough and well versed. He said that he often stayed in 'dodgy hotels' that were nearer the Airport to save taxi costs for BA. Take as you find I suppose...:p

15th Feb 2003, 18:01
Ignoring the CIA, FBI and MI5 for now, because quite honestly I can't be bothered with fantasy....Assuming you have found one Policeman and turned him, then he has got himself stationed at am airport, what do you then suggest you do.....like I said earlier, do you remove all the articals he carries, although he is quite entitled too? Picture the scene...

A serious disturbance, airside terminal 1 at Heathrow...Police screech to a halt at a BAA control post...run to the metal detector....

BAA Guard "Got anything sharpe or could be used as a weapon mate?"

Police officer places handcuffs, cs gas, baton on table

BAA Guard, "ohhh you can't take them through here mate, you know the rules, I'll have to call the police"

Policeman "Er what do you think this is a bus conductors outfit?"

BAA Guard "Rules is rules mate"

Police then called, and the whole issue is repeated, meaning more police are called.....

Meanwhile, the fight has now developed and one of the paries is laying in a pool of blood...Ambulance screeches to a halt....crew leap out through metal detector....Well sure you can work out the rest!

After an hour the 22,000 members of the Met Police are all assembled at a BAA control Post, the airport is littered with Police cars...someone mutters..."I hope they don't set fire to anything"

Now you can either do one of 2 things. First, sorry if this is a dull repeat...but you can concentrate on what is more lightly to happen, and sadly that includes airline staff bringing things they shouldn't to work (and in some cases would render them liable to arrest whereever they were)
B. put up with the inconvience and at least be reassured that there is less chance of the flight deck door caving in and a grinning man with a sun tan muttering sweet nothings in your ear.

of course if you do option B, then at least if it happens on the ground there will be police who can turn up, with equiptment to try to deal with the problem...they wont all be at a BAA control post waiting in a vicious circle.

15th Feb 2003, 18:14
On the lighter side, has anybody given a thought for the poor traffic wardens at Heathrow, determined that "THEY SHALL NOT PARK" when somebody actually had the temerity to park a tank in the "set down/pick up" area the other day. Where do you put a parking ticket on a tank I wonder? Will the DVLC computer have the name and address of the registered keeper to send the fine to based on that funny registration number? For that matter how do you wheelclamp one when it has no wheels. Er - if you need it to be towed away, is there available sufficiently heavy lifting and towing equipment?

Just a thought!


15th Feb 2003, 21:39
As has been previously said, it’s not just the police that walk through security checks, a number of other groups do likewise. Immigration officers (IO’s) – even if the items they are carrying set off the metal detector they are allowed through un-challenged and un-searched. Similarly, customs people. In T3 most don’t even enter via the “normal” staff route as far as I can see and never go near a metal detector. They may be more highly vetted, but that doesn’t stop someone dear to them being held hostage unless they take item X airside for some group of nutters. Please don’t think I am against either of the above groups, I’m not. It is the rules that allow them to do this that need to be looked at, the groups concerned are only complying with the rules.

Finally, I’ve never seen the point in putting flight deck crew through the security loop at airports. None would need a gun or knife to crash the aircraft – they already have that ability in their hands/heads. It was introduced, as far as I recall, so they were leading from the front as an example to cabin crew. If flight deck crew lead from the front by example, shouldn’t IO’s and customs be doing the same thing?

16th Feb 2003, 14:16
mmm seem to have ruffled, a few feathers bjcc, that was not my intention, And at no point did I mention only BAA airports, been into FCO,TIA, or AII , lately a complete shambles, and as we all know if you come in via CCs you can bring in your own Hand grenade(not Funny) the jury is out on that one, I however believe that the security of Airports should not be 100% in the commercial sector, peatnuts= Monkeys , getting the right mixture of private and goverment co-operation is important, for effective security. darkstar I never was one of them, totally independent , you have my regards

16th Feb 2003, 15:23
Pilgrim, I do agree that there is some merit in specialist companies undertaking independent Security Inspections. A compant such as Control Risks for instance. Good Company, Excellent people and knowledge, but too expensive for Airlines? Then again, what price security, one incident and an Airline could be history. I don't know whether they've branched into this side of the business...they'd make a mint!

16th Feb 2003, 23:21

i am a crewmember, I have , as far as I can recollect, never brought anything to work that I shouldn't have and I resent having to leave my pocketknive and nail-clippers behind.

You must agree with me that it is at least as likely that an armed Security or law enforcement person attempts to comandeer an aircraft as me holding my pocketknive at the troath of my first officer.

Further, the excuse that someone could impersonate a crew member is one of the reasons given that we have to submit to this charade called a security check, well, I submit that if someone can impersonate a crewmember they can do the same as a Policeman/women.

So forgive me if i have a hard time regarding the current security procedures with anything more then contempt, especially so since I learned that it is quite allright to come on board with matches and butane lighters. my confidence in the personell administering these procedures also got quite a boost when i learned, that in order for them to pass the test the first time they were supplied with the precise answers to the test questions in advance.

Just in case anybody thinks that those high and mighty Pilots needed to be brought down a peg or two, I can assure you that i feel quite humble these days, as I am still working for the same pay I got 10 years ago and working conditions have only deteriorated since then :mad:

17th Feb 2003, 00:00
OK Crew lets get to reality. Yes I am Involved in aviation security and yes I work for a control authority that does not in law need to be searched. If I am stopped carrying a firearm what are security to do? I am vetted and yes I accept that in the past vetted people have turned. But at the end of the day trust has to be drawn somewhere or the industry would collapse and there would br no jobs for you. Look at it this way, if we have sky marshalls and secure doors to that flight deck, should we have a skymarshall on the flightdeck to make sure the pilots are not suicide terrorists? If so should we have a second skymarshall to make sure that the the first skymarshall is not a terrorist? then we ought to have a third to ensure that the good one out of the other two is more likeley to prevail.
Aviation Security is regulated by DFT and if you find fault with it you should report it through your company to them not on a site that can be accessed by the frightened travelling public that pay your wages or Mr Bin Laden and his mates. There is much that is not publicised about security and for good reason. Please entrust it to those whose job it is, after all they don't tell you how to crew planes!


Hew Jampton
17th Feb 2003, 00:23
A few years ago I watched someone 'exempt' himself from airside security by showing his warrant card. He was dressed in cyclists' lycra, had a cycling helmet on his head and his front wheel under his arm. I later found out he was Special Branch and he commuted to work like that and changed into a suit in his airside office. So as he was on his way to work he wasn't even on duty, surely an abuse of the system?

I accept there might sometimes be genuine operational reasons for warrant holders to be exempt but the main reason for them stoutly defending their exemption is that it's an excuse for them to jump the queue and avoid the hassle that everybody else has to put up with every day.

I understand that this exemption is currently being reviewed by the Government. Good.

17th Feb 2003, 00:41
Thank you, Aeropig! You said it nicely. I am hoping to become a pilot someday, but right now, to pay the bills, I am a screener at a Canadian airport. Every airport is different, but believe me, low-paid or not, we do our best to make planes as safe as possible for everyone flying. And we get a lot of sh*t thrown in our faces for it. But hey, that goes along with the job. I can't really discuss rules on certain personnel going through security (that's info I cannot divulge). But we don't screen flight crew anymore, but we know how frustrated they used to be(we had to hear about it enough) and, I can't speak for other screeners, but we never gave crew a "hard time". We were merely doing our jobs. Screeners never decided to screen crews, but we had to do it if we wanted to keep earning a paycheck. I am aware that many consider screeners to be uneducated idiots with no common sense, but that isn't true. A lot of us are educated, but have to take jobs that pay the bills (aviation isn't the only industry that is hard to get a job in). And pilgrim, unless the screeners really do give you a hard time (rude, rough, etc.) cut them a little slack. They're the ones looking out for you.

17th Feb 2003, 09:16
I am very reassured that the DFT are the control in general for airport security. I don't think so. As many of you have pointed out your concerns regarding C & E, HMI and Police. I find this incredable as many of the major UK airports are wide open with vast amounts of building work and vast amounts of immigrant labour with a 'shed' load of sympathys, not with standing the rest of us.

If you want 100% security then you have to stop flying. The UK is as good as gets on a good day. Like some previous contributors I to have been involved in security work throughout the world and many of the routes flown by UK airlines and those coming into the UK leave a lot to be desired and are not in the same ball park as the UK.

As for the trash in yesterdays 'People' regarding the security lapse at Kent International Airport. It does tell us that LHR/LGW etc are clearly getting harder to get into as not so many years ago the press would go straight to a major airport and get airside.

Pax Vobiscum
17th Feb 2003, 17:24
Fascinating report from the Canadian Senate (Standing Committee on National Security and Defence):

The Myth of Security at Canada's Airports (http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/defe-e/rep-e/rep05jan03-e.pdf) (PDF 256pp 829KB)

From my limited experience (as SLF) I would be rather surprised if the situation was very much better in the UK/US/Europe - and these are probably among the best places from a security viewpoint.

[The authors have a very witty turn of phrase, not often observed in UK parliamentary committees: "Plastic knives don't cut it"!]

Couple of quotes from witnesses:

“You take away a hat pin, you take away some nail clippers, and everybody leaves the airport saying “Oh, isn’t that wonderful, they are so zealous . . . we don’t have to worry. And it is all nonsense. Absolute nonsense.”

Aviation Company Owner

“The current status of airport security is not very good. I could take anyone in this room in two minutes and train you on how to put a bomb on an airplane for any city in the world. If you are willing to pay the first-duty shipping fee, we can guarantee what flight you will be on – it is that wide open.”

Chuck Wilmink
Former Corporate Security Manager, Canadian Airlines

17th Feb 2003, 18:56
I agree with the quote that it is all "absolute nonsense".

Airport security in the US particularly is way over the top, and is responsible for the impending demise of UAL and probably AA, since it is the security system itself that is driving people away from flying. It also gives the public the perception that flying is not safe, when it highlights all the "scares", even though they always turn out to be false.

I am not aware of any case where the airport security actually prevented a hijack attempt. All the "weapons" they have confiscated have been taken from passengers and crew who had no intention of using them on the flight, ie they were not terrorists.

For better safety, the attention should be on the airplane, since that is where the action will be. Yet the only things done so far seem to me to lead to less safety, not more. Such as disarming the crew (not even a screwdriver or nail file carried), or putting in a solid door that once breached gives the hijacker total control or adding air marshalls to only a tiny fraction of flights (and those few are so overworked that they are now given alternating duties as plain clothed airport security).

Of the latest series of actual airborne attacks (most drunken or crazy passengers) only one had a "weapon". That was the El Al flight when the criminal tried to overcome the flight attendant with a pocket knife (she screamed and ran away). The other incidents did not involve weapons (one had a couple of candles, one had a bottle of petrol, one (successful) hijacking was accomplished by a crazy who had a tv remote control, one tried to use an asthma inhaler and one involved a group of three unarmed men who broke into the flight deck and beat up the pilots), which shows that even if you had 100 percent airport security you would not be able to stop a hijacker who wanted to take over the airplane; only the crew and passengers can do that. But the crew is not given any tools or training in this regard, and we all know how useful the new doors are.

Meanwhile we crew have to put up with the insanity and being treated as if we are criminals, and if we argue the TSA now has the ability to have our licence yanked! Now that is Airport Security 2003.

surely not
17th Feb 2003, 20:15
How reassuring that responsible professionals feel that the emphasis on security is 'absolute nonsense'!!!:rolleyes:

Boofhead you must be in dreamland if you think that security in the US is as tight as in the UK and some European states. It certainly doesn't seem to be way over the top to those of us used to UK standards over the last 10 years. There have been some very successful seizures by security which haven't been made public so as not to cause alarm. Those who need to know have been fully informed.

Sure people lie on their references, just the same as they do on their tax returns. The fact is it is getting more difficult to get away with the deceit.

Unless I am mistaken Aircrew have the same financial and personal pressures as we lesser mortals. These pressures could result in them taking a one-off payment to assist a person out to create trouble. I would feel very aggrieved if they were ever exempted from the Security checks. To the postee who pleaded that they would never stoop so low, great news, but unfortunately there might be others who would, so go through the checks and make life more difficult for the bad sheep.

Until we have politicians and 'freedom fighters' who accept the power of peaceful negotiation we will continue to require enhanced security because we work in a 'spectacular' industry.

17th Feb 2003, 21:45
Aeropig 1, thanks for your posting, I agree totally with your content and moreover the tone of your comments, thanks again.
Like one or two others, it was most definitely not my intention or wish to stir things up with my first posting on this subject, but I still stand by my comments made there. In particular
I continue to assert that, the security system is only as strong as the weakest link and once we start granting exemptions, where will it stop. I would suggest that I could call at my local theatrical outfitters and be kitted out as a police officer, just like I could an airline pilot. OK getting a vaild ID and getting through the check point would be another matter.
I do however also fully accept that all of us will have strong
and varying views on this most important subject, but by using this forum for discussion, we may be able to improve the situation.
On the question of security clearance and vetting of personnel, all I would comment is... When I wore a blue uniform to do my aviating I was security cleared to fly HM the Q (and did now and then) as well as other passengers up to and including the householder at no 10 as well as military VIPs etc. All this, apart from being a superb tour of duty to finish my military flying career, afforded me absolutely nothing in the way of security brownie points when I started civil flying and I never expected it to do so of course.
My point is that, I have seen sensible and thorough security very professionaly carried out on many ocassions mainly in the military and we need the same highly trained professional approach in the civil sector as well, alas at present I think we have some way to go, despite the best efforts of many personnel.

18th Feb 2003, 05:48
Boofhead, you say that most "weapons" are taken from people who aren't terrorists, and have no intention of using the "weapons" on the plane. Well, how are we supposed to know who's a terrorist or not? We don't find a prohibited item, and think, "oh, he looks okay. I'll let it go". We can't. If we find a prohibited item, we have to take it, regardless of who owns it. We can't treat people unfairly and target only a specific group..if a little old lady comes through with a pair of sharp scissors, I can't allow it. Do I think that little old lady will highjack the plane? What I think doesn't matter. I still have a job to do. I screen "powerful" people all the time..they get treated like anyone else. When we search a bag, and find a prohibited item, the focus is not letting that item on the plane, not on the owner. And we never treated crew like "criminals" ...I hear that comment sometimes, from passengers too, and I wonder why. Usually all we are doing is just searching them and their items, and they blow it all out of proportion, as though we do body cavity searches and interrogate them in a little room like they do on CSI (not our job). I often hear it from people who think I actually care what's in their bag (unless it's dangerous, I don't) and have nothing better to do than call everyone I know and tell them so-and-so has a pack of condoms in their purse as soon as the plane leaves. We don't search crews anymore, but we did it because we were required to, not because we actually "wanted" to. But we have to search..and we're not the only ones...concerts and award shows search people too. We're only trying to look out for passengers, AND crew, and the plane, not treat people as criminals. However, if I am lax on any particular passenger and am caught, I lose my job. Simple as that. That explains why I treat everybody equally, which is what we're supposed to do anyway. I'm not risking my sole source of income for anybody.

Pax, I agree, that security is only as good as the weakest link, and that includes Canadian airports. Hopefully things will improve as a government crown corporation takes over from the airlines. We have undergone further training and pay increases, hopefully that will "motivate" some of us.

As for security being imperfect, what is perfect these days? You can do everything possible to protect people, it isn't always going to work. You can fix roads to make them safer, impose speed limits and have police patrolling the roads, but there will always be some idiot driving too fast, driving drunk, and jumping in front of you when they're not looking where they're going. You can register guns, teach gun safety classes, but there'll always be someone who leaves a gun where a child can reach it. Nothing is 100% perfect.

18th Feb 2003, 18:20
I thought I spelled it out pretty clearly, but evidently not. Maybe I will try again...

Terrorists can take over an airplane using everyday items that will not be confiscated at security. They will not carry guns or knives etc because they know there is a good chance of them being taken away. On 9/11 for example the crims used boxcutters that were legal for carriage at the time. In the future they will use other items that are not banned. If you are in security you will know what I mean.

This means that even if every gun and every knife and every nailfile is stopped at the security point it will not prevent a terrorist from attacking the airplane once it is in the air. I gave several examples of this, with one example, in Algeria, of the airplane almost being taken when a group of men broke into the flight deck and beat up the pilots using only their fists. If they had closed the flight deck door behind them they would have been successful, but as it was the cabin crew and pax managed to stop them.

Should security be abandoned then, as useless? No, of course not, but the standard used in most parts of the world is quite satisfactory. Unlike in the US, they do not find it necessary to single out aircrew for special treatment; everybody gets the same or if they have a good identity check going aircrew get preferential treatment, not because aircrew are 'special' but because holding up the crew will delay the flights. There is no "random" searching, and only if you set off the detector or have something suspicious in your carry on would you attract attention. Or if you are acting weird. In this way security is not a bottleneck or something to be feared. It works, but at the same time it is not 100 percent. It cannot be that, ever (the only weapon used for an attempted hijack recently was a pocket knife and that was on an El Al flight, supposedly the safest in the world with the most stringent security).

If you are on the receiving end it sure feels like you are being treated like a criminal, with no rights. Even on the road you are entitled to respect from the police if they pull you over, but when you try to get on an airplane you are considered to have given up all rights to privacy and respect, and why should I have to be subject to this? I am not a criminal, and neither are the almost 100 percent of others who want to fly. So there are some bad guys out there, why not concentrate on them? If you cannot identify them, work out how to do that, without getting in my face. Passenger loads in the US are down 15-20 percent, not because of a fear of flying, but because of the way they are treated at the airports.

And when you know that ONLY passengers and crew are subject to security, with the thousands of airport workers free to come and go as they please, you know that the authorities have set up a system that is designed to APPEAR effective, but is almost worthless.

Here's some proof for you to ponder. There have not been any bombings of airplanes in the US since 1962, yet the govt made a real effort to get bomb scanning xray machines installed at all airports before Dec 31 last year, despite there being no really effective machines available. The ones they use have a 20-30 percent failure rate (false positive). Imagine the cost, and who got the kick back?

Go look at how they work. Beside every machine, usually set up in the concourse, with thousands of passengers milling about, is a table where the bags that fail ( a lot of them) are manually searched by someone with a pair of rubber gloves. Remember, he is searching for a bomb. If there was a bomb there, how would it be set off? That's right, by handling it! This is the same airport that will evacuate a whole terminal for hours if a bullet is found on the floor, or a scanner found to be unplugged, yet they will allow a man with no explosives training fiddle and manhandle the contents of your bag (and since all bags must be left unlocked the owner might not even be there...does this suggest anything?). When he sets off the bomb that the machine has told him is likely to be in the bag, thousands will be in the blast area.

So why would the govt allow this insanity? Simple, they know there is no bomb. Again, the whole setup is for show. And incidentally to grow government and take away peoples' rights, which was the main intent in the first place.

None of us are against effective and reasonable security, just knee jerk stupidity. You may feel you are "just doing your job", but if that job is ineffective and is destroying the whole airline industry, don't expect those of us who have to put up with it to applaud you.

Max Angle
18th Feb 2003, 22:18

That's the best debunking of the airport security "myth" that I have ever read. Some may think you are being cynical but those of us who see the system at work every day know full well that a great number of the measures in place are so full of holes that they are almost worthless.

18th Feb 2003, 22:25
I may have had my sixpence worth on this topic, but I agree 100 percent and then some with all of `Boofhead's` comments on the post immediately prior to this one.

18th Feb 2003, 22:35
A couple of years ago approaching Kuwait the CSD entered the flightdeck stating we had a Security Officer on board. He would be sitting on the flightdeck for landing as he needed to check the approach lights!

I hope he had a good view from his seat in the cabin!

19th Feb 2003, 04:19
Ok, Boofhead, I do respect your opinion, and can see how it makes sense. You're right, nothing, including security, is perfect. I still don't know how to spot a terrorist...I must be missing something. Maybe if we have pictures of known terrorists. It's hard to tell who means well and who doesn't. I've known people who I thought were decent and had no intentions of hurting people. They wind up murdering someone. They had everyone fooled. I can't really comment on the explosives detector, sorry, wish I could but I can't. Of course if someone wants to hurt the plane or the people, they will probably try it with something they are still allowed to take aboard. We have to draw the line somewhere...we can't take people's shoelaces, ties, pens, etc. As I said, nothing's perfect. And I have been on the receiving end of a search, I've been searched with a hand-held metal detector and I've had manual searches done on my carry-on baggage, so I know how it feels. I know 99.9% of the flying population is safe, but we can't take chances. You don't have to respect or applaud that, I don't really care. I was just trying to get in on the debate with the standpoint of someone in my occupation.

19th Feb 2003, 06:14
MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- A Japanese tourist was arrested after carrying a canister of gasoline and a barbecue grill through Miami International Airport, police said.

Atsushi Ishiguro, 45, was charged Friday with creating a potential safety hazard and a violation of airport security directives, police said. He was released on $1,000 bail Monday.

Ishiguro was traveling on American Eagle Airlines from Jamaica to the Bahamas when airport security stopped him on a layover in Miami.

During a security screening, authorities questioned Ishiguro about the liquid in his 11-ounce metal canister. He told them it was gasoline.

Ishiguro was taken into custody when he refused to give up the canister. Two boxes of matches and a barbecue grill were also found in his possession.

Authorities became more suspicious after examining Ishiguro's passport which included stamps from Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.

The FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service are reviewing his case.

:confused: :confused: :confused: :eek:

19th Feb 2003, 09:46
I went through Geneva Airport the other day. You can still buy full sized swiss army knives in the little kiosk just before you board the aircraft (well past any security screening posts). This subject has been raised with the swiss authorities but they point blank refuse to change their policy. So if you want to take a 4" blade onto an aircraft just transit GVA!!!

19th Feb 2003, 15:44
Ook said:I still don't know how to spot a terrorist...I must be missing something. How about well educated and highly trained (expensive) individuals who ask questions before you even get to the check-in desk. It's called profiling.

Unfortunately far too many luvvies think it is just sooooo unpolitically correct. :rolleyes: Also, it would be so much more expensive to do it this way. But hey... as long as we can all fly cheaper who cares!:hmm:

19th Feb 2003, 18:41
Thankyou for your imput Danny, In Jan 2000, myself and others, saw BA&BAA, ref profiling,we where told, this could not be done by private companies and also , they where looking into this matter , mmm they must still be looking, thease things do take time?. also BA were happy with the 3 questions at check-in.

View From The Ground
19th Feb 2003, 22:45
As most of you will know the US carriers and I believe all carriers flying to the US out of the UK and I would imagine many other international destinations use passenger profiling as mandated by the FAA. They use private security companies such as ADI, once part owned by BA, ICTS and Initial Aviation. Of course somewhat idiotically they assumed that internally they were safe and allowed for example passengers on a direct flight (stop on route with the same plane continuing to another destination) to leave their hand baggage on board. I was working for a US airline that allowed this and raised the issue with my management of course nothing was done. However from what I have seen profiling does seem to be very effective. The cost needn't be huge if shared between all airlines at an airport and the contract negotiated accordingly to make maximum benefit of economies of scale. Whilst I agree that in general the BAA staff are reasonably trained, leaving profiling to them would ineviatbly lead to delays since the same pressure to perform cannot be exerted on their monopoly situation as it could be on a private contractor with next year's contract to win.
On the topic of how security is performed in my view out of the UK hold baggage is sufficiently robust, why do you think they are trying to use SAM now, answer because it is tough to get a bomb on board a plane now. All pax and staff should undergo a metal archway and if required back up wand or hand search. Their bags should also be x-rayed. HOWEVER it is clearly ridiculous to take a pair of nail clippers away from a passenger or crew member, when a member of engineering staff can have an altogether lethal selection of potential weapons in his toolkit. Easily handed to a passenger post security. What we should go for is reasonable and consistent measures, since as many people have pointed out many everyday items can be used as weapons...hmmm no metal cutlery but glass, both for drinking out of on board and duty free bottles are allowed. As I have previously posted lets make it as secure as possible without resorting to futile gestures which frustrate everybody with no benefit. I believe certain control authorities should be exempt, police...always....customs...in certain situations....not sure about immigration officers though....cannot see many reasons why they would need to be exempt.

19th Feb 2003, 22:49
ADI were profiling for various US airlines at LGW / LHR for the last five years. BA & BAA posed the three questions as directed by the DETR, it was a matter that they had no choice in and some years ago DETR saw no gain form profiling.

As many have already stated profiling will only identify the idiot it will and cannot eradicate airborne terrorists.

View From The Ground
19th Feb 2003, 23:00
Seems to work for El-Al penknifes apart!

19th Feb 2003, 23:22
What scares me is the nutter who lit a dairy carton of inflammible fluid in a Korean subway killing over a hundred people.

It's time to tighten up the duty free.

21st Feb 2003, 02:00
Flyright, it is absolutely ridiculous to be able to buy a knife past the security checkpoint. I have no idea what they're thinking...

Profiling is a good idea. El Al uses it, and they're known to have the best security in the world. Of course, someone did get through with a knife..not sure if that changed their ranking or not. If they come up with it here, well, so much the better. Anything that can help security is a good thing. I'm just responding to people who seem to think I can tell just by looking at someone if they're dangerous or not. It's impossible. If you go through life judging people by the way they look, then you're the type of person defense attorneys like to have on a jury. Luckily, most people don't go by looks..otherwise, people like Ted Bundy would never have been convicted. We can, and do, look at a person's actions closely. If they act somewhat suspicious, they get a more thorough search. But, there are also people who are, and appear, nervous about flying, not because of security, but they're just afraid of being 30,000 feet above the ground. So we have to take that into consideration. Plus, people without consciences can come through screening and not exhibit any signs of nervousness, agitation, etc. It's possible, that's why people can beat polygraph tests, and they aren't admissable in court. A terrorist can fall into this category. If they come up with profiling in the future, well, I'm all for it.

As for the guy trying to get through with gasoline, we can't allow that b/c it's too highly flammable. But I guess you, all experienced pilots, know that. We have to look out for substances that can damage the plane. Terrorism isn't the only concern in our job.

And yes, I think it is ridiculous to take something as small as nailclippers from a passenger. We don't. And I do think it is ridiculous that pilots and FAs have to be searched. Especially if you take a knife from one, and then they go into the cockpit where there's an axe for emergency use. Plus, pilots can take the plane up, and they can take the plane down. I agree, it is illogical. We don't search crews anymore.

Orca strait
22nd Feb 2003, 04:35
Another bureaucracy gone mad - end result, lots of money spent, fiefdoms built and security not much improved...

Airport Security Report:
Future funding for purchases and installation of security equipment
at the nation's airports could be jeopardized by $3 billion in cost
overruns at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), warned
government and industry officials during a Feb. 5 hearing of the
Senate Aviation Subcommittee.

A number of TSA contracts have escalated wildly out of control and
are now being scrutinized by federal investigators, said Department
of Transportation (DOT) Inspector General Kenneth M. Mead. Deals with
subcontractors in the previous fiscal year were fraught with
overcharging, he added. Aviation Today (http://www.aviationtoday.com/VIP/waw/previous/waw0212.htm#A1) (Paid subscription service).

22nd Feb 2003, 06:01
I've been reading these opinions with interest. I can see both sides have valid points to make however I side with those who believe that security is a joke and cosmetic in nature. The real point however has been only lightly touched on by bjcc. That is Trust. At some point you have to trust those who are the pros. And I mean all those who are the pro's, police and pilots. If you think that all pilots are potential terrorists, take a bus. I've yet to see any pilot put a gun to a passengers head and tell him/her "you're coming with me". If you want to make airports 100% safe, close them! A little mutual respect would go a long way to make our life ( pilot's and security people) a little easier. I object to being treated as a criminal and being told that I am not allowed to have my pocket knife, nail clippers or leatherman with me onboard. But I am allowed to have a crash axe in the cockpit! Let's get real.

22nd Feb 2003, 21:34
`Yankee Clipper` You are absolutely correct in all you say and I can not agree with you more. Many thanks for a most sensible and reasoned post on this very serious subject.
Regarding respect between all parties, a pleasent smile at the security check point and for example, a `good morning Sir sorry but I do need to check your bag` works wonders, this of course gets both of you on the same side. Unfortunately more often than not in my opinion this is not the case, you are more likely to be met by a sullen scowl and very few common courtesies if any at all. This is not allways the case, but more often than not I suggest and the courtesies must be both ways of course.

23rd Feb 2003, 17:50
A number of you have praised LY security but ELAL does not make a profit neither is it known for its good customer service. The regidity they apply would not be accepted by us. Look at the fuss over the 'jump seat' for example.

It is run on military lines and I stand to be corrected but much of the security staff and costs are met by Israely government

25th Feb 2003, 00:38
I agree. Common courtesy goes a long way. We're taught to be friendly and polite. I always try to have a smile on my face, b/c I keep in mind that if it weren't for people buying plane tickets, I would be out of a job. Those screeners who are rude and scowling should be in another industry, since we are working with people. Same for people who work in traditional customer service positions, such as cashiers, waiters, etc. It can be hard to keep smiling when people are cursing at you and throwing things at you, but I still try to be friendly...most passengers are friendly and cooperative. As for trust, I, for one, have never worried about a pilot possibly compromising my safety. Otherwise, I'd never get on a plane.

25th Feb 2003, 10:47

Pay £11,500 pa inclusive gross 42hr week

4am starts midnight finishes working most weekends

Rosters and pay can be found on www.magalliance.co.uk

Hundreds Apply For Jobs As Airport Security Officers

They come from all walks of life to train as security officers at Manchester Airport.

Everybody from company directors milkmen, teachers, senior police officers and law students want to put on the blue uniform and undergo the rigorous training programme.

Last year, a staggering 759 people applied for jobs as security officers. So far, this year, the airport has received 270 applications for security officer jobs since an advert went into the airport Jobcentre four weeks ago.

The rigorous training programme lasts three weeks and recruits are shown how to search people and search bags, use of X-ray screening machines, searching aircraft and vehicles, detection of explosives, recognition of
weapons, firearms and explosive devices, patrolling, as well as questioning
passengers and dealing with aggressive behaviour.

The training is done in classroom conditions but there is plenty of on the job training under supervision from trainers and team leaders. The recruits are given a daily test and have to pass a written exam at the end of the course.

John Cordingley, Aviation Security Training Consultant at Manchester Airport, said: "The training programme is very rigorous over the three- week period. The recruits have to take a test each day and then a final written exam at the end of the course.

"Security staff also have continuous training after they qualify to keep them aware of changes in technology and equipment as well as regulatory requirements in the National Aviation Security Programme."

Date 11/2/2003

25th Feb 2003, 15:27
Thought I'd found the job centre for a minute!

26th Feb 2003, 15:18
Boofhead is 100% correct!

surely not,

Please don't take this as a flame, as it is not intended that way.

Unless I am mistaken Aircrew have the same financial and personal pressures as we lesser mortals. These pressures could result in them taking a one-off payment to assist a person out to create trouble.

What about the "trusted" ground pounders (which is nearly ALL of them) that are not required to submit to passenger screening? I guess a person holding an easily obtainable, minimum wage job on the ramp is less likely to be coerced into bad things than a highly paid professional who doesn't need a weapon to fly an aircraft into a building?

I would feel very aggrieved if they were ever exempted from the Security checks.

Then you should be feeling very aggrieved right now, since the ONLY employee groups (in the US) that submit to passenger or any other type of "security" screening are pilots and flight attendants. The rest enter through the back door. Prior to 1987, pilots and flight attendants were also exempt from passenger screening. Due to the actions of a ground ops employee (PSA 1771, do a google search) pilots and flight attendants, but NOT ground ops employees, were thereafter required to submit to passenger screening. It was the first act of "The Greatest Security Show on Earth, and it was way before 9/11.

Aircrew are required to submit to passenger screening for one reason, and one reason only. It makes a great PR show for the passengers to see easily identifiable, authority figures submitting to the same screening that they receive. They are not aware that while the front door is locked tight, the back door is wide open.

How much sense does it make to screen every bag for explosives, then, immediately after said bag exits the machine, the unlocked bag is picked up and handled by an entry level, ground ops worker, that entered the "secure" area, unchecked, through the back door? Meanwhile, the Captain of the same plane that that bag is loaded on to is standing at the passenger screening checkpoint in his socks, holding up his pants trying to explain to the TSA the FAA requirement to carry an operating flashlight or comm. headset (it has happened to me. They let me carry my plastic, 2 "d" cell flashlight....."this time" :rolleyes: ).

To the postee who pleaded that they would never stoop so low, great news, but unfortunately there might be others who would, so go through the checks and make life more difficult for the bad sheep.

The only "sheep" whose lives have been made more difficult are ironically those that don't need a weapon to "take Over" the aircraft, IE pilots. The bad guys, while they may be crazy, are not stupid. They will take the path of least resistance, and that is not in a pilot's uniform. It would be much more difficult for a bad guy to impersonate a pilot in any case, and if he did, and got away with it, all of the fondling in the world would not stop him from flying the aircraft into a building, since he would already be IN the cockpit. The same goes for pilots in general. Either we are trusted or we are not trusted. If we are not trusted, then we should not be given complete control over a potential weapon of mass destruction. If we are trusted, then we shouldn't be standing in our socks every day, explaining to the HS dropouts why we need certain items to operate the aforementioned, potential WMD.

These points may seem redundant, but I feel they illustrate the complete farce that passes for "security", at least in the US. If it weren't such a serious issue, it would make a great comedy show!

Scottie Dog
26th Feb 2003, 17:37
On the lighter side of life, does anybody know if Pprune lapel badges are cleared for travel - or are they classified as dangerous weapons? !!!!!!

Scottie Dog

26th Feb 2003, 22:49
"undergo the rigorous training programme"

Humm... Yeah right, ever been thought west gate? They just tap your sides and nod you though..

You only get searched when passengers can see or when they say to you .. they are watching us today we have to search you properley.

No Standard

26th Feb 2003, 23:01
I understand they also have to undergo a spelling test!