January 25, 2011
Less than a day after the fatal suicide bomb attack on Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, pilots and aviation security experts are calling for a reevaluation of airport security.
Following the attack, authorities in Ukraine and the Czech Republic announced they plan to increase security at their airports.
In Prague, police a spokeswoman told the Associated Press more officers would be on duty at Prague’s Ruzyne airport. They will be bolstered with sniffer dogs and sharpshooters. In Ukraine, an airport spokeswoman said additional Interior Ministry troops had been deployed at Kiev’s Boryspil Airport. Police with sniffing dogs were also randomly checking passengers and their luggage.
The Canadian Press reports that analysts are warning that the large crowds that gather at airports’ public areas are an easy target for terrorists. It is virtually impossible to screen them because many airports are now commercial centers with shops, food courts, train stations and other facilities.
In order to combat “inherent vulnerabilities” airports share with subway stations, shopping malls and football stadiums, analysts are suggesting they expand security areas beyond departure areas.
Israel, Jordan and Pakistan are cited as examples of expanded security. In those countries, roadblocks are situated miles from airport parking lots and passengers and others are “prescreened” before they are allowed to proceed.
The Domodedovo attack is unique because it is the first time alleged terrorists have tried to exploit unrestricted public access to the terminals. In 2007, in Glasgow, Scotland, attackers attempted to crash a Jeep with explosives through the entrance doors of an airport.
Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security International, told The Canadian Press he doubts the Pakistan or Israel model of expanded airport security would work in Europe or the United States. “So many of our airports now are commercial enterprises which have to maximize their earnings,” he said. “They have food courts, shopping centers, train stations all located together, and any effort to control access would have a major impact on the airport’s bottom line.”
In fact, the bottom line is that terrorist attacks in the western world kill less people annually than allergic reactions to peanuts, auto accidents involving deer, and lightning strikes.
“For all the attention it evokes, terrorism actually causes rather little damage and the likelihood that any individual will become a victim in most places is microscopic,” Ohio State University’s John Mueller said in 2007.
Experts say Moscow airport attack may cause security rethink worldwide, The Canadian Press, January 25, 2011.
Moscow blast leads to tighter airport security, TriCityHerald, January 25, 2011.
Peanuts Kill More Americans Than Terrorists, Paul Joseph Watson, Prison Planet, January 5, 2007.
This article was posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm