Eye scanners and information chips inside passports may soon be coming to an airport near you as the airline industry seeks to sharply reduce security check-in time and inconvenience.
The International Air Transport Association unveiled a mock-up Tuesday in Singapore of what it dubbed the "Checkpoint of the Future," where passengers separated by security risk would walk through one of three high-tech, 20-foot-long (6.1-meters-long) tunnels that can quickly scan shoes and carry-on luggage and check for liquids and explosives.
"Passengers should be able to get from curb to boarding gate with dignity," IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani said. "That means without stopping, stripping or unpacking, and certainly not groping."
Airlines are seeking ways to win back passengers put off by long and irritating airport security measures who have opted to travel instead by train, boat or car. IATA said Monday it expects the industry’s profit this year to plummet to $4 billion from $18 billion last year.
U.S. Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole said he thinks IATA’s security system, which it hopes to implement within five years, is a great idea.
"It’s something that’s long overdue," Pistole said at IATA’s annual conference. "We’re not at the checkpoint of the future yet but we’re working toward that. I think eventually we will see something similar."
The TSA has been working for the last six months on developing a system that could differentiate passengers by security risk to cut down on needless checks, Pistole said.
"One size does not fit all," Pistole said.
The TSA will likely start a pilot program this year in some airports that allows frequent flyers or other travellers with clean records to receive minimal checks, he said.
In the IATA prototype, passengers would be categorized based on the results of a government risk assessment that is put into a chip in a passenger’s passport or other identification. An eye scan would then match the passenger to the passport.
Low-risk passengers would walk through a tunnel with their carry-on luggage in just a few minutes — much quicker than the current average security screening of 35 minutes, IATA said. High-risk passengers would be directed to walk through the tunnel that performs a full body scan while searching for items like explosives.
"We must amalgamate intelligence based on passenger information and new technology," Bisignani said. "That means moving from a system that looks for bad objects, to one that can find bad people."
One obstacle to the proposed system is that governments could be reluctant to share passenger background information, said Ron Noble, secretary-general of Interpol, the France-based international police agency.
"Most countries don’t want other countries to have data of their citizens," Noble said.
Airline executives were also concerned about whether the new system would rely too much on technology at the expense of human observation.
"Only technology is not the solution," said Elyezer Shkedy, chief executive of El Al Israel Airlines. "You must always change your way of defending. Otherwise, terrorists will find your weak points."
Netanyahu ‘spat in our face,’ White House officials said to say 2015-01-23 22:28
The White House’s outrage over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress in March — a move he failed to coordinate with the administration — began to seep through the diplomatic cracks on Friday, with officials telling Haaretz the Israeli leader had “spat” in President Barack Obama’s face.
“We thought we’ve seen everything,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior ...
Creators of martial law film "Grey State" found dead, reported as murder-suicide 2015-01-23 17:16 The creator of a not-yet-completed film about a central government takeover of society following a collapse and his family have been found dead in their Minnesota home, with authorities claiming that the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide.
As reported by the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis, David Crowley, 29, his wife, Komel, 28, and their 5-year-old daughter were found ...
The Return of the Protected Jewish Minority in Europe 2015-01-23 2:53
Contrary to the standard narratives of Jewish ‘history,’ a prominent feature of the historical presence of Jews in Europe has been their protected status. The common context for this status was a symbiotic relationship between the Jewish minority and exploitative or tyrannical elites. As agents of the feared elite, as foreigners, as exploiters in their own right, and with interests ...
Truth Revealed: McCain’s ‘Moderate Rebels’ in Syria ARE ISIS 2015-01-23 1:50
Poor John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Washington’s real first couple. They only want to arm the ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria. Three years on, how come their master plan isn’t working, while ISIS has grown so strong?
Despite what media lauded as, “the largest demonstration in France’s history – bigger than liberation at the end of WWII!” (can you rightly compare the ...
European 'No-Go' Zones: Fact or Fiction? 2015-01-22 0:37
Comment: This is an interesting article about Muslim no-go Zones in Europe. However, keep in mind that the focus in this piece is not addressing the root of the problem, but a symptom of the problem. Yes, there is an issue with large Islamic colonies in Europe today, but the article mentions nothing about who has changed the immigration laws ...