Aviation news analysis
50 SKY SHADES - World aviation news

Ben Gurion: What Europe's Hubs Could Learn from The Most Secure Airport on Earth

Download: Printable PDF Date: 25 May 2016 01:19 category:
Publisher:
Ben Gurion: What Europe's Hubs Could Learn from The Most Secure Airport on Earth - Airports / Routes publisher
Krista Kuznecova
Country: Israel
Source: Travelpulse

Ben Gurion Airport is one of the world’s most secure air travel hubs. No one has been killed or even injured as a result of terrorism at the Tel Aviv airport for the past 44 years. Nor has any departing plane been attacked during that time.   

With the latest spate of terror attacks in Europe and Africa, other airports, including London Heathrow, are considering copying some of the practices that have led to the Israeli terminal's stellar security record. 

Using Tel Aviv's practices in Europe

Ben Gurion will reportedly share some of its security expertise with other airports this summer, and Heathrow is interested in applying some of the practices used in Tel Aviv. 

Tel Aviv has multiple layers or “rings” of security. Cars entering the airport have to pass through checkpoints manned by armed guards who ask questions and perform searches if deemed necessary. At check-in, each passenger is questioned by a security official who is trained to look for certain behaviors that arouse suspicion. Some travelers are subject to additional questioning and searches based on what these behavior detection specialists find.  

Gurion also has plain-clothes agents who circulate the terminals looking for suspicious behavior. 

Ben Gurion’s director, Shmuel Zakay, says that it is no luck that his airport has escaped terror attacks for the past four decades plus. The high level of security is a matter of necessity, not just for passenger safety, but for the country’s connection with the outside world. “This airport is under constant threat. All terrorist organisations know the consequences of hitting Ben Gurion airport. The consequence would be to place the entire state of Israel under an air blockade.” 

Adding layers of security

Heathrow is reportedly considering using plain-clothes agents to circulate in the terminals to watch out for suspicious behavior. Other airports in Europe, meanwhile, are simply trying to keep a Brussels style-attack from happening again by checking passengers’ travel documents before they enter the terminal. Many airports in Africa, Asia and the Middle East already do this. 

Unfortunately, some of the other security measure used at Ben Gurion would be more difficult to employ in Europe. 

Not every measure will work in Europe

First of all, despite being the only major international hub in Israel, the Tel Aviv airport is relatively small. It sees about 16 million passengers per year. Heathrow, meanwhile, sees more than 70 million. Creating a less-open setup with multiple document checks and questioning could lead to gridlock. 

Also, some people contend that assigning a level of risk to passengers the way Israel’s security agents do could lead to racial profiling because of the diverse ethnicities of passengers at major European airports.     

Looking at the big picture

The “big picture” ideas used at Ben Gurion could prove helpful at European and American airports, however. Adding extra layers of security in the form of plain clothes patrols and document checks to enter the departure hall could go a long way towards making these hubs safer. Also, European airports could adopt the idea of trying to single out passengers who  are more likely to pose a threat.

It is probably impossible to have the same level of security that Ben Gurion has, but major hubs like Heathrow can do a lot to improve the current state of their security. 



Loading comments for Ben Gurion: What Europe's Hubs Could Learn from The Most Secure Airport on Earth...


Recommended

Russian Helicopters completes delivery of 31 EMS helicopters

Russian Helicopters, part of Rostec State Corporation, under a contract with the State Transport Leasing Company (GTLK), has completed the delivery of 31 helicopters in emergency medical services (EMS...

Embraer Phenom 300 hot based throughout Europe - the addition to SaxonAir charter fleet

Private air charter operator SaxonAir announces the addition of an Embraer Phenom 300 jet to their aircraft fleet.  The 2016 manufactured aircraft G-KRBN is to be hot based throughout Europe...

Emirates network updates for 2019

Emirates has announced adjustments to its operational schedules in 2019 to minimise the impact of the closure of Dubai International Airport’s Southern Runway in April and May 2019, and to respo...

Luxaviation Group: Belgian fleet gets two newcomers for full charter operations and results of successful year for Brussels FBO

Luxaviation Belgium fleet got two newcomers to its full charter operations fleet.  As the first, we are talking about a large cabin Challenger 350 aircraft, which joins the Luxaviation fl...