Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Drunk passengers more threat to airport security than terrorism

Drunk and disorderly passengers are more likely to pose a threat to airport security than terrorism, Professor Alan (Avi) Kirschenbaum, coordinator of the Behaviour Modeling for Security in Airports (BEMOSA), told the popular Russian magazine Ogonoik.

In the interview, Kirschenbaum, a professor at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, said that following in depth research of security apparatus in European airports, “unmanaged drunken passengers” were considered the most serious threat to everyday operations.

Although occurances of drunk and disorderly behavior on flights have diminished due to new European Union laws forbidding the passage of more than 100 mililiters of liquid, including alchohol, on flights, most alchohol consumption takes place at airports themselves, prior to flights.

Airport bars, cafes and duty free shops all sell alchohol in large quantities, said Kirschenbaum.

As a result of the growing number of drunken passengers on airlines, he pointed out that the US have specially trained air marshalls patrolling flights. They are able to arrest disorderly or aggressive individuals and hand them over the law enforcement upon landing.

Kirschenbaum also told the website that in Israel, such guards have been present on flights for many years. He also pointed out that security proceedures differ greatly to Europe, with more emphasis placed on monitoring people and less emphasis on the goods they are carrying. Much of Israel’s security technologies have been adopted in airports worldwide, finished Kirschenbaum.