Sunday, March 08, 2009

Airport Security Checks

After 911 attacks in the US in 2001, airport security checks almost everywhere have become more strict. But in some countries and airports, the security checks are overly strict and redundant, perhaps OA. Like the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 in Manila.

At NAIA 1, an international passenger goes through 2 security checks: first upon entry at the airport terminal building (person, hand carried and check-in luggages), and second after check-in and passing the airport immigration. Here, passengers have to remove their shoes, belts, coins, keys, hand-carried luggage go through x-ray tube.

If passengers are going to the US and fly an American airline NorthWest, they will have to go through a 3rd security check and repeat the 2nd procedures. Total time spent from entry at terminal building to the departure lounge for a US flight would be about 45 minutes on average.

Aside from those security checks, there are also plenty of private security guards at the airport. The first group are outside the terminal building, checking passengers’ plane tickets and passports. After passing through the 2nd security checks, there are again security guards checking passengers’ boarding passes on the way to their departure gates.

In many international airports in the world, like those in Asia and Europe, passengers check-in first, and they go through only one security check, them and their hand-carried bags only, before proceeding to the departure lounge.

The big difference between them and NAIA 1: the former have big and wide terminals and few airport personnel, the latter has a small terminal and plenty of airport officials and personnel per square meter of terminal area.

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