OSC Guardian - Safety Advice


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Airport Security in the wake of the Moscow attacks.

The New York Times asks whether it's possible to totally secure an airport and security professionals answer in the negative. "How do you fully secure something as big and sprawling as an international airport against a terrorist bombing like the one on Monday at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow?," reporter Joe Sharkey asks. "You cannot, security experts I spoke with on Monday say. Airports are by definition public places requiring relatively free access. The experts have long contended that serious holes in security at airports have been neglected while most of the effort and money goes into looking for weapons on passengers at checkpoints. But they have also warned that a sensational incident in one place can lead to widespread overreaction and demands for quick fixes."

♦ The security experts The Washington Post spoke with say airport security can get better outside secured areas. "But the farther you get away from the controlled area, the bigger the drop-off in terms of quality and quantity of security," Richard W. Bloom, an aviation security expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, told the Post. Bloom said some security resources may have to be reallocated to other parts of an airport to stop a suicide attack like yesterday's in Moscow. Rafi Ron, who is a security consultant for U.S. airports, added that airport design should come under scrutiny. "I don't know what the situation was in Moscow, but judging from the large number of casualties I would assume there were a lot of flying objects," he said. "A lot of U.S. airports have a lot of glass elements and partitions, all of which turn into very dangerous projectiles when there is an explosion."

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