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Security checkpoints in the future will avoid travellers needing to be “groped” according to Giovanni Bisignani, the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s CEO.
IATA unveiled a mock-up of the checkpoint of the future, which has been designed to reduce queues and intrusive searches.
Bisignani said: “We spend $7.4 billion a year to keep aviation secure. But our passengers only see hassle.
“Passengers should be able to get from kerb to boarding gate with dignity. That means without stopping, stripping or unpacking, and certainly not groping. That is the mission for the Checkpoint of the Future. We must make coordinated investments for civilized flying.”
The checkpoint of the future will end the one-size fits all concept for security, by splitting passengers into three lanes: the known traveller, normal and enhanced security.
Security must focus on the risk passengers impose, by changing from “a system that looks for bad objects, to one that can find bad people,” said Bisignani.
Which lane passengers will go through will be determined with a biometric identifier in their passport, with a risk assessment on each passenger carried out before they arrive at the airport.
“Known travelers”, such as pilots and frequent travellers, will have registered and completed background checks with government authorities for expedited access, while “Normal screening” would be for the majority of travelers.
For those passengers with less information available, or who are deemed to be an “elevated risk”, will have an additional level of screening. Passengers may also be randomly selected to go through this lane.
Bisignani said biometric scanning and the three-lane concept could be introduced right now.
“While some of the technology still needs to be developed, even by just re-purposing what we have today, we could see major changes in two or three years time,” he said.
“Today’s checkpoint was designed four decades ago to stop hijackers carrying metal weapons. Since then, we have grafted on more complex procedures to meet emerging threats. We are more secure, but it is time to rethink everything.”