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Security At The Door?

Sun Aug 31, 2003 5:12 am

I was thinking wouldn't airports be safer if the security screening was at the entrance to the airport?
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RE: Security At The Door?

Sun Aug 31, 2003 5:17 am

No, because then they'd be screening people with absolutely no access to the aircraft; relatives of arriving and departing pax, terminal-based employees in food courts, and so on. They have absolutely nothing to do with the operation of the aircraft themselves.... and it could be fair to say that there are as many people working or at the airport for relatives than there are actually flying in and out on the aircraft themselves.

Of course, it's not always the case that the biggest threat is to the people on the aircraft itself. There was a shooting at a ticket counter a couple years ago in LAX or something, right?

The way it's done now is probably the most efficient and cost-effective.
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RE: Security At The Door?

Sun Aug 31, 2003 5:23 am

People Express had door screening at its EWR terminal many years ago.
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RE: Security At The Door?

Sun Aug 31, 2003 6:54 am

All it would do is move the line further back. Likely, a lot of terminal designs would not accomodate this type of screening. Imagine if everyone had to wait outside in line trying to get through security just to get in the building. It would not be too bad if it was 72 degrees and sunny, but that is not always the case. Also, what do you do with the people who are just dropping off/picking up people. I can see it now--Meet me outside the baggage claim where the mob of people is located. I think that before going through security, everyone should have some type of access to a waiting area and a ticketing area.
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RE: Security At The Door?

Sun Aug 31, 2003 6:58 am

This has been debated for some years, particularly following the attack on the El Al ticket counters in Rome and Vienna some years ago, as well as the attack at the El Al counter at LAX.

During the Delta remodeling of Terminals 2 & 3 at JFK, they moved security screening to the entrances.

The advantage of such screening is that it prevents weapons from ever entering the building.

The problems, however, exceed the advantages:
1. Screening of checked baggage differs from that of carry-on baggage. Checked baggage is primarily searched for explosive incendiary devices; hand luggage for any form of weapon. It makes sense to separate these screening processes.

2. The building entrances would have to be reduced. Prevailing logic suggests that there should be as few checkpoints as possible: this reduces labor costs, ensures standardization of procedures, and makes security "evasion" more difficult.

3. During heavy traffic periods, passengers might have to wait outside.

4. Security screening areas require significant amounts of space, so they can't easily be fit into entranceways.

Airport designers have typically built new facilities with centralized checkpoints. These have the added advantage of identifying contraband long before passengers reach the gate. The disadvantage is that potential hijackers have extra time, space, and human interactions to obtain weapons after screening and before reaching the gate. This is the rationale for supplemental gate screening.

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RE: Security At The Door?

Sun Aug 31, 2003 11:17 am

No, it would be more dangerous, because the screening line would be out the door in the heat and people would collapse from heat exhaustion.
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