The drastic monstrous air crime is known as “hijacking”. The word became more common after 9/11 incident. However, historical records suggest that such threats sowed on 21st February 1931. This was the first officially registered hijacking moment. So, ever where in world; airport security has been assumed as the prime security agenda of the concerning nation and state.
Nowadays, numbers of air travelers are rapidly rising. Hence, most of the time; It creates chaotic situation at the airport and eventually it becomes an opportunity for terrorist. Airport security prevents front line terror act through weapons & bomb scanner. Basically, there are two major purposes of airport security:
- To protect airport from attacks
- To protect aircrafts as well from attacks
Thus, prudent duty at front line check post remarkable reduces chances of terror attacks. Let’s check out airport security measures in different countries.
US introduced security measures in late 1960s and in 1970, sky marshals were specially trained to protect aircrafts. In late 1972, screening of every passenger was enforced by FAA. After September 11, 2001 hijack; rules became tougher, even number and types of items carried by passengers were revised. Now, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for the screening of passengers and their baggage. Thus, unlike most of the countries; security at airport is controlled by state or local level. In special circumstances several other groups also can be used like paramilitary forces and military forces.
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) enforces all security measures at Canadian airports. They use advanced version of X-ray machines, CTX machines, high-resolution x-rays and EDTs. Compulsory use of biometric cards for all airport employees has also enhanced security measures. CATSA is also getting assistance from private agencies like ‘Aeroguard Ltd’ for random non passenger screening.
After terrorist attacks in 1986, Vigipirate program set up here. It engages using troops to strengthen local security. However, from 1996 onwards; security check-points have transferred to private companies hired by the airport authorities.
Hong Kong SAR
Hong Kong Police Force and Aviation Security Company (AVSECO) ensure adequate security the Hong Kong International Airport. Airport Security Unit (ASU) members can be found anytime at airport in visibly armed situation with H&K MP5 A3 Submachine Gun. New regulation at airport is similar to Europe as of April 2007. Liquids more than 100ml are prohibited to carry by passengers in the plane.
After the 1999 Kandahar hijacking; airport security task assigned to Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). Besides CISF, there are exclusively trained aviation security forces deployed by airlines.
Thus, such information may be quite handy when you land at airport. It gives you a sense to understand the security measures at different airports. Sometimes, lack of awareness regarding security measures create embarrassing situation. So, it is better to have idea before landing/boarding on the airport.