Published on Wednesday, April 20, 2011
British Airways chairman Sir Martin Broughton has launched an attack on security checks at airports.
Speaking to the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in London yesterday, he said the current system of ‘one size fits all‘ should be replaced with a ‘risk-management’ approach.
“Some people like to use a different word to describe risk management. It is profiling, which some people regard as a pejorative term. It is alleged to carry discriminatory overtones. Such concerns are misplaced, and completely miss the point,” he said, in a speech reported today in the Financial Times.
“Making everybody suffer inconvenience in the name of uniformity doesn’t make any sense at all – and reduces the quality of security by dissipating resources.”
Sir Martin said the risk-based approach would be more effective in the fight against terrorism and is also “a far better use of resources than the one-size-fits-all approach”.
“Surely the flight crew need to be the ultimate trusted traveller. Let’s face it, they don’t need a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to do their damage if that’s what they were intent on,” he told the audience.
On a recent flight to the US, one of the members of the British Airways Board was selected for additional screening, he added.
“I urge the Commission and European Governments to represent the interests of our passengers and be more forceful in the way they deal with overseas Governments,” he said.
“More parochially, I can’t understand why a passenger who has safely flown into the UK can’t be allowed to fly out again on a transit basis without further screening.”
In summing up, he urged governments:
- to take an holistic look at security
- to take a risk-based approach to security rather than a one-size-fits-all approach
- to operate in unpredictable ways
- to have multilateral agreements on what constitutes a good security regime and mutual recognition of such regimes
- to recognise we have domestically-based terrorists as well as foreign-based terrorists and therefore require the same standards at home as we do for inbound traffic
- to encourage investment in technology that speeds up the security process.
To see the speech in full, click here
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