The need for securing airports has evolved. Since the 1960s, airport security has been gradually paid attention to following various security breach incidences involving hijacking and terrorist attacks around airports. Today, airport security is one of the most emphasized elements of national importance. Governments and airport authorities have put in place various security checks and systems aimed at improving airport security. Here are some essential reasons as to why airport security is a highly regarded issue in our time.
Protection against terror
The global war on terror has significantly evolved since the 2001 incident where hijacking of airplanes led to a significant national emergency in the US. Airport security has been beefed up with the aim of targeting preventing terrorists from infiltrating their way into planes where they may wreak havoc. New improved security measures have been put up targeting ending the reign of terror. Security systems such as metal and explosive detectors are now a standard feature in all major national and international airports.
The fight against narcotics and drug trafficking
Drug trafficking is a major concern in our time, especially in western countries and Europe. Airports have become a major transportation hub for major global narcotics such as cocaine and heroin. Special security systems have been put in place targeting scanning customers’ luggage for the presence of suspected organic compounds culpable to be drugs.
Prevention of smuggling
Smuggling of contraband items and precious metals such as gold and other antique items is a major concern in all countries. Contraband items commonly smuggled include wildlife trophies such as elephant and rhino tusks. The use of busy airports to smuggle such items from one country to another has raised the need for the development of specialized security personnel and systems targeting stopping such practices.
The enforcement of airport security has been made fruitful by the use of various technological tools among which include:-
- Advanced Imaging Technology Scanners – these scanners are specially designed to detect any concealed and swallowed items ranging from metals to organic compounds.
- Biometric Systems – Biometric systems such as fingerprint and palm print scanners serve as identification tools that can help detect persons of interest trying to access airport services illegally.
- Luggage scanners – Magnetic Resonance Imaging luggage scanners are used in airports to scan customers’ luggage for the presence of contraband items such as liquid and solid-based drugs and other metallic weapons.