Airports Council: External Checkpoints a Bad Idea
In the wake of recent terror attacks, including the one at a Brussels airport in March, a United Nations aviation body may recommend changes to security outside of airport terminals. The Airports Council International calls the idea problematic.
The United Nations is looking for ways to boost security at airports worldwide, but a major international airport group is rejecting one strategy that’s being considered.
In comments to Reuters, the director general of Airports Council International (ACI) said a plan to put checkpoints outside of airport terminals would actually endanger travelers by creating bottlenecks where they would be stranded and unable to escape, should terrorists choose the checkpoints as targets.
The proposal by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) would set security guidelines for public areas of airports around the world. ACI says the idea for external checkpoints wouldn’t work, due to the way airports are designed.
“Most airports were not built to have people congregate at doors,” ACI Director General Angela Gittens told Reuters. “And every time you stop people, you’re interfering with what airports were supposed to be doing.”
On top of this, Gittens warned, the external security lines would create a potential new target for terrorists. “You’re trapping people in a line where if something did happen these people would not be able to scatter,” she said.
ICAO says that it’s too early to speculate on the changes and that the goal of the discussions is to consider ways to protect passengers as soon as they reach the airport.