Security

Ever since the terror attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in 2001, airline and airport security has topped the aviation industry’s agenda. Although last month's terror plot didn’t succeed in blowing up trans-Atlantic jetliners in mid-air, the situation caused repercussions in airports throughout the world and struck at the core of a fundamental weakness in global aviation security.

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By  Barbara Cockburn Published  August 28, 2006

|~||~||~| The scare led to countless delays, as checkpoint queues grew longer and passenger’s tempers frayed, amidst fears of devastating airborne attacks. Not only did the public face delays, but the aviation industry faced massive financial losses too. Bomb disposal experts, interviewed by a news source, said the next terrorist attack on civilian aircraft could be carried out by passengers who hide their bomb ingredients in innocent looking containers and later assemble the device during the flight. In the immediate aftermath, onboard liquids were banned by the British Airports Authority, including drinks, toothpaste, perfume, shampoo, hair gel, suntan lotion and similar items from carry-on luggage. These items are no longer allowed past security checkpoints. Small doses of liquid medications can be carried aboard, although passengers are prohibited from bringing aerosols through security checkpoints. In addition, hand luggage was banned and passengers endured long delays as security staff conducted hand searches of every traveller. The bomb disposal experts criticised security staff at airports for not looking for the right things, when scouting out suspicious behaviour and the change in tactics is likely to overwhelm current security standards. Despite this, the region's airlines are confident that its security measures are as stringent as ever. An airline spokesman said: “We are complying with the updates put out by UK government’s department of transport. On the whole, we see no need for major changes to that security level.” Is it only a matter of time before another 9/11?||**||

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