Thursday, January 7, 2010

Israel airport security

Annie Lowrey discusses the differences between Israeli and US airport security. This is a topic that has been around for a couple of days, and this article makes a good summary of the pros and cons.(the article here for instance just makes fun of American new security measures, that one is a bit more objective but slightly).

Lowrey explains that

By every available metric, Israel's system works better at preventing violent attacks. The country, under constant terrorist threat, hasn't faced a hijacking incident since 1969. A plane leaving Ben Gurion, the airport through which I traveled, never has. The latest deadly security incidents have involved attacks within airports, rather than from planes.

Why? For Lowrey,

And it works, Israelis say, because it relies on the so-called "human factor." Israel attempts to stop dangerous people before they come anywhere close to an airliner, profiling to assess each individual's risk

The profiling there is less of a bad word than in the US. There's no mention in either her article of the one linked above, of profiling depending on the country of origin or religion. They are profiling on attitudes. From her experience
Once inside, a team of pleasant airport employees approached me and asked if we could speak for a few minutes. 
So here is the trick. They seem to do a better job. What I like also is that they seem to do a more sensible job in their profiling process. But obviously, having to talk to the security guards has its price:

Israel values its security, and pays for it. According to an analysis by Bloomberg News, Israel spends around 10 times more per passenger than the United States does(...)Say each passenger flying through a U.S. airport received on average 10 minutes of questioning from one guard. That would work out to 7.35 billion minutes, or 123 million hours, of work annually. We'd need 3 million full-time guards to perform it. That's 200,000 more people than the total number of active and reserve military personnel, and twice the number of U.S. Wal-Mart employees. It would cost somewhere north of $150 billion a year.

That's quite worth a reading

No comments:

Post a Comment