Philip Baum - Editor in Chief - Aviation Security International
The latest restrictions introduced in the US and UK only go to prove that, once again, terrorism wins. The terrorists aim is to disrupt our daily lives and this they are achieving in spades as we continue to follow the misguided policy of focussing on restricting or prohibiting items rather than concentrating on negative intent. If our screeners cannot, in 2017, distinguish between a laptop that contains an IED and one that does not, then our screening process is completely flawed. And encouraging people to check laptops, and other such items, into the luggage hold simply makes the challenge even harder. Cabin baggage can, at least, be inspected piece by piece and the accompanying passenger questioned. Surely the lesson of the Yemen printer toner cartridge devices was that bulk screening is not always up to the task and that common sense should rule.
Much reference has been made today to the Daallo Airlines bombing of 2016 (Aviation Security International's feature story/interview in February 2017). However, the laptop used to bomb the Daallo Airlines flight from Mogadishu to Djibouti was handed to the passenger AFTER the security checkpoint. There is no value in restricting people carrying laptops through the checkpoint if they can be given them, or other items, just prior to boarding. The question is whether we trust security at the airports on the list. If we don't, then perhaps we should not be flying to them at all.
The laptop restrictions have the potential to become another LAGs fiasco. Restricting everyday items, which we need to be able to carry and use, serves no security benefit. Screeners will starts to focus on looking for these items, just in order to remove them, rather than aiming to identify the person, be it a passenger or employee, who might be trying to circumvent the security system we have in place. Neither liquids nor laptops pose a threat in themselves; it's the person who carries it who does.
Simon Calder's piece from the Independent quoting ASI's Editor:- NEWS LINK