Technology and human instincts in aviation security

Necessity is the mother of all invention. When the danger is constant and very real, the result is inventions that lower it to a “reasonable” level.

 

That happens on a daily basis in the Israeli defence industries, and in the other security organisations.

 

This time the invention is in the field of civil aviation. The security at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv is different to any other airport in the world.

 

Most of the ingredients of this huge system are under heavy wraps but from time to time something is presented, even if very partially.

 

This happened yesterday when the Israeli Airports Authority (IAA) announced that passengers flying from Ben Gurion to the USA will be able to carry liquids purchased in the airport without the security limitations that apply elsewhere, mainly in flights with a US destination.

 

The IAA has completed the deployment of a unique security system that screens the liquid goods supplied to the duty free shops in the airport.

 

After they are cleared by the new system, the liquid products will be sold to passengers, and will be packed in sealed bags in accordance with the US security standard.

 

The methods used by the IAA’s security department are classified, and most of them have been developed in Israel according to the standards of the Israeli general security service.

 

Some more automated systems are planned for Ben Gurion airport, and are aimed at making the “Profile” system used now almost redundant. Details are also classified here, but technology will enable the transition.

 

However, I assume that despite all the technology, the human instinct of trained security personnel will continue to be very important.

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