Salon’s aviation writer, Patrick Smith, is bullish on a plan most recently proposed by the International Air Transport Association to bring some sanity to airport security.
The International Air Transport Association, the airline industry’s global advocacy group, is proposing a radical change to existing airport security checks.
Under the IATA plan, unveiled last week, each passenger will be categorized into one of three risk groups, and then screened accordingly. Biometric proof-of-identity, such as a fingerprint or encoded passport, will be checked against a stored profile containing various personal data, and also against passenger watch lists. This, together with flight booking data, will determine which of three screening lines a traveler is then assigned to.
Those in the first line would receive little more than a cursory bag check, while those in the third line would be subject to an “enhanced”-level check similar to the Transportation Security Administration procedures that are currently applied to all passengers.
It might not be a perfect solution, but this is easily the best idea I’ve yet heard with respect to restoring sanity to airport security.