Thursday, December 1, 2016

Opinion-Safe Skies: Public Opinion of Airport Security and What We Need to Do To Improve Travel

Brian Holland 
Dec 1, 2016

Airport security screening. If you ask most people what their point of view is on airport security screening, you will find that the majority of individuals consider it a necessary evil. A recent Gallup poll actually found that most Americans are okay sacrificing privacy for security, while another Gallup poll on airport security found that Americans’ views of the TSA are more positive than negative.

In the cat-and-mouse game between security professionals and terrorists, the stakes could not be higher. The rise of discontented extremist groups around the world has increased since September 11th and so has the frequency of attack. “As threat levels increase, components get smaller and capabilities of our attackers improve.  The need for advanced technologies and training in the security industry is a never ending cycle.,” says Brian Holland, president of Point Security Inc., a vendor of security screening equipment.

Individuals try to sneak products or destructive components onto planes and security personnel try to catch them in the act. However, security personnel like the TSA and other regulating bodies around the world do not have the adequate resources to fully scan every passenger and every piece of luggage coming through an airport.

Holland goes on to say that the “Quality of the detection process and the time needed to process, have always been opposing forces. The difference between three minutes and ten seconds of scan time per process, can equate to hours of lost time when multiplied by the millions that travel each year.” Security professionals are tasked with a difficult choice of where to cut costs. Should one invest in a new, cutting-edge screening equipment or bring in more staff? Will the busy holiday travel season (typically between late November and early January) require more baggage scanners or body scanners? Furthermore, how long can we keep the average passenger in the security checkpoints?

In December 2015, Americans saw terrorism as the number one problem facing the nation. Terrorism was seen as more important than guns, government, and the economy. With tensions high, security manufacturing personnel need to have a global approach to solving the problem. Countries - and airports within countries - have different budgets, and accordingly, different needs. While it may make sense for JFK to invest in the newest baggage screening tool that decreases wait times, it may make more economic sense for an airport in Burkina Faso to train temporary staff members to meet the holiday rush.

Transparency of information is also a key component. Countries should work together to thwart recent developments in smuggling, and terrorism plots. If one airport learns of a recent development that breached security, other airports around the world should be kept up to speed.

Meet the Author

Brian Holland is the President of Point Security Inc., a certified small business with over twenty-five years of experience providing sales and service of security screening equipment throughout the United States and the Caribbean. He enjoys educating individuals in ways that can better secure their facility. For more information please contact Point Security Inc.

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