Pin It

Airport Security – Airport after 9/11

Airport Security

Airport Security around the world is a big issue. While certain security measures, such as bag searches and the obligatory walk through a metal detector, are practically universal, security procedures are by no means uniform across the world. Certain countries have unique security routines at the airport that might seem strange, annoying or downright offensive to foreign visitors. To illustrate this, the following list gives a sample of 10 countries and their Airport Security measures.

 

United States

If you’ve passed through an American airport recently, you know the drill. First, you show your photo identification and boarding pass at the security checkpoint, and then you proceed to the baggage screening area. After taking your laptop out of its case and making sure that your liquids are separated from the rest of your luggage in a clear plastic bag, you remove your shoes and belt. Your possessions go through the X-ray machine, and you go through a metal detector or body scanner. There are some exceptions to these security rules. For example, the Transportation Security Administration allows elderly travelers and children younger than 12 years old to keep their shoes on.
Airport Security
Canada
Canada has many of the same Airport Security procedures as the United States. However, the big difference between security in airports in Canada and airports in the United States has to do with shoes. In Canada, you can leave them on. The Canadian government’s website on Airport Security screening suggests that travelers refrain from wearing shoes with metal in them in order to avoid triggering the metal detector. Security personnel can use their discretion and ask individual passengers to remove their shoes. Also, people flying to the United States may be asked to take off their shoes in order to comply with the U.S.’s stricter security measures.
Airport Security
Israel
Airports in Israel are reputed to have some of the strictest security procedures in the world. In Israeli airports, bags are screened and put through decompression chambers in order to detect any explosives. Every passenger flying on El Al, the official airline of Israel, is subject to questioning by security agents before boarding the plane. No passenger is exempt from this questioning, and foreigners are generally questioned more thoroughly than Israelis or Jewish people of other nationalities. Arabs and Muslims are subjected to an even more intensive level of questioning and often have to submit to extra luggage checks and strip searches. El Al agents admit to using ethnic profiling to screen passengers, but they claim that this is an effective way to uncover terrorists.
Airport Security
Saudi Arabia
For Saudi Arabia, Airport Security begins before travelers reach the airport. Saudi Arabia has strict controls on who may enter the country, and foreigners must get a visa in advance. Citizens of Israel and anyone possessing a passport with an Israeli stamp aren’t allowed to visit Saudi Arabia. Women traveling to or from Saudi Arabian airports are also subject to strict rules. If they aren’t met at the airport by a husband, male relative or sponsor, they will not be permitted to leave the airport. In order to exit Saudi Arabia, a married woman must get prior permission from her husband. An unmarried woman can’t catch a flight out of Saudi Arabia without the written consent of her father or male guardian. Plus, there are very strict rules about what can be transported into the country. At the airport, customs officials will search passengers’ bags for forbidden items such as alcohol, pork products and pornography.
Airport Security
United Kingdom
Many countries subject passengers on international flights to extra scrutiny, but the United Kingdom takes the opposite approach. It mandates extra security screenings for passengers who are flying domestically. All passengers departing from or transiting through Heathrow Airport to other airports in the U.K. or Ireland are required to undergo a biometric screening. This process captures images of passengers’ faces. Heathrow airport’s official website reports that the reason for this extra security measure is to keep passengers from evading United Kingdom immigration procedures.
Airport Security
Japan
The security routine at Narita Airport near Tokyo will seem familiar to many passengers coming from Western countries. Travelers must take off their jackets, put their bags through the X-ray machine and walk through a metal detector. Interestingly, Japanese airport workers may be more worried about ninja weapons than bombs. The official website for Narita Airport cautions passengers against packing souvenir weapons from Japan, such as samurai swords and ninja throwing stars, in their carry-on baggage.
Airport Security
Australia
According to the Australian Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, security procedures differ in Australian airports for domestic and international flights. International flights have measures that conform to the strict security standards of airports in the United States. There are restrictions on the amount of liquids that passengers can carry onto the plane, and travelers may be randomly selected to go through the body scanners used at Australia’s eight international airports. For domestic flights, security is a bit more relaxed. However, there are limits on the amount of liquids that passengers can bring on domestic flights leaving from international terminals.
Airport Security
Pakistan
According to the websites of the governments of the United Kingdom and Australia, security is tight at Pakistan’s Jinnah International Airport, which is located in Karachi. Vehicles are not allowed to approach the airport’s arrival and departure areas. Because of the heightened security measures, Pakistan Airlines advises its passengers to arrive at the airport two hours before a domestic flight and four hours before international flights. However, the British and Australian governments advise their citizens to limit their time spent at Jinnah International Airport, possibly due to concerns about terrorist attacks. Additionally, citizens of Pakistan traveling to the United States must go through extra security procedures before flying. These measures include full-body scans, pat-downs and extra baggage checks. This is due to the fact that Pakistan is on a list of 14 countries whose citizens are required to undergo extra scrutiny before arriving in the United States.
Airport Security
Brazil
For international flights, Brazil, like many countries, has taken tough measures to limit the amount of liquids that passengers can have in their carry-on bags. However, Brazilian airports have security issues that don’t involve flying. Rebecca Duran of The Brazil Business reports that thefts are increasingly common at Guarulhos International airport near Sao Paulo. Professional thieves haunt the airport and look for bags to snatch when passengers aren’t paying attention. The thieves also work in teams. One person will distract a passenger while the other person steals the passenger’s bag. Watching baggage very closely is a security measure that people traveling through Brazilian airports must take.
Airport Security

 

Nepal
Based on the description from the official website for Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, the airport’s security screening procedures appear to be quick and efficient. However, travelers report being subjected to multiple security checks that involve repeated baggage searches, questioning and frisking. Unlike in many airports, there is a separate security line for women at Tribhuvan Airport.

From the above examples, it is obvious that the idea of Airport Security is often shaped by cultural beliefs and values and societal preoccupations. For example, a component of Airport Security in Saudi Arabia involves securing the country against contraband pork and pornography. In Israel, Arabs are often viewed with suspicion, so at Israeli airports, Arabs are singled out for extra scrutiny. Airport Security measures illuminate much about the countries in which they are enacted.

Airport Security

© 2017 FEAR OF FLYING. All rights reserved.