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."
Kansas City Jewish Community Center shooter: “I was an FBI Informant” 2014 04 24 Kansas City Jewish Community Center shooter: “I was an FBI Informant”
…… Which is EXACTLY how we called it when this story broke a few weeks back. We also mentioned that the SPLC, just discarded from the FBI “hate” website… Would be the prime benefactor.
Ex-KKK Leader Was Given a New Identity Years Before Shooting
Glenn Miller Claims He Was an FBI Informant
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The fuel under study, called cellulosic ethanol, has been touted in recent years as a ...
Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king 2014 04 24
Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits.
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John Kerry and the Pope set to face off with Jewish Knight Templars on the Temple Mount 2014 04 24
This is the week that supposedly spells the end of the peace process or its end. My money is on a continuation that has no real substance or direction.
What’s the alternative?
With Passover and Easter over, Secretary Kerry can return to the Middle East crisis. This, after dealing so successfully with crisis in the Ukraine. [Is the author joking? - RIC]