What Will the Moscow Airport Bombing Mean for Airport Security?

The debate has begun on what’s going to happen to airport security in light of this morning’s awful bombing at Moscow’s Domededovo airport.

Mainly, the discussion will center around how to best secure the arrivals section of airports, long light on security compared to departures. Key to that debate will be the question; how does a government provide security while ensuring that people have the ability to easily pick up arriving travelers?

Maybe this means metal detectors at the doors to the arrivals section or checkpoints even further away from airports. We’ll see.

Here’s an excerpt from an article on CNN.com citing security expert Will Geddes and journalist Richard Quest both of whom predict increased checkpoints:

Geddes, though, says tighter restrictions surrounding the arrivals hall are inevitable.

“There’s got to be some sort of rendezvous point, but perhaps you will see airports trying to control the numbers of people in that area, by partitioning it, or staggering the meeting points.

“You’ll see better security controls to get into the meeting area, but also a higher visibility of security staff on the arrivals side, because there is a perception that security stops at customs, and that is likely to change.”

And Quest said airports may begin screening people who come to meet friends and family at arrivals.

“What will happen is that the barrier will get further and further back, so no longer is it just at departures, but at the airport door, or in some cases on the road as you drive up to the terminal.

“In some places, like at Ben Gurion in Israel, you have a security checkpoint way down the road, even before you get to the terminal. That is going to be the future.”

  • Robert

    Why not just ban air travel, train and/or bus travel and crowds of larger than a dozen people in anyone place? No crowds, no sucide bombers. How much freedom and liberty are people willing to give up for a slight bit more safety? Of course we would not want to do anything to eradicate the one group that does 99% of the worlds suicide bombings.

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      the one group that does 99% of the worlds suicide bombings”.

      And you would be referring to whom, exactly?

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen

      • blight

        LTTE? “The Iraqis”? “The Taliban”? “The Chechens”? “Al Qaeda”?
        Funny, since all five “groups” have done a fair number of suicide bombing, 99% is hysterical exaggeration.

        • crackedlenses

          I was thinking of the religion behind all those groups. You know, that one that calls itself the “religion of peace”…..

          • blight

            I don’t think the LTTE are Muslims…?

          • crackedlenses

            Who are the LTTE? I know all the other groups you mentioned are Muslim or predominately Muslim…..

          • blight

            Tamil Tigers. One of the first groups to use children and women suicide bombers, and to maintain a professional standing unit of suicide bombers.

          • blight

            Addendum: I forgot to mention that the LTTE was finally crushed by the Sri Lankan government. But as with any insurgency, you can never really tell right away if it’s utterly destroyed. Killing a leader does not guarantee a new group won’t spring up, but that’s an offtopic anecdote.

          • Thomas L. Nielsen

            Just checking, you understand: Are Robert (“….eradicate the one group that does 99% of the worlds suicide bombings”) and you proposing to solve the terrorist problem through the wholesale eradication of 1.5 billion people worldwide? Quite a solution (or should that be “Endlösung”?), I must say.

            Please tell me I’m misunderstanding something…..

            Yours with concern,

            Thomas L. Nielsen

  • 202greg

    Hijackings worked because you had international passengers in a confined place they could not escape and it was difficult for security forces to successfully attack. The hijackers made demands and several foreign governments used their influence to see that the demands were satisfied and their citizens secured. Now that hijackings are near impossible, terrorists just want to blow up planes and now airports. Demands are not issued. Instead, the terrorist actions are in “retaliation” for this offense or that action. What is the difference between an Arrivals Hall and a shopping mall, or a parade, or a busy pedestrian area? We can’t secure every place and wait for the attacks. The focus should be on hunting and killing terrorists.

  • Coolhand77

    Yah, having a security checkpoint to get into the airport parking lot will really work well for high traffic areas in major cites, like San Antonio…
    And people wonder why i refuse to cram myself into that cattle chute just to fly anymore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001038242731 Stephen Russell

    Upcoming: Longer wait times to board plane IE arrive 7 hours before flight???
    More metal detecters, more Xrays of passengers by hidden scanners, sensors to denote C4 on a person etc IE “active”.
    More police???
    Say Police State.

  • QF74

    Terrorists aren’t stupid. This would do nothing. Wherever the checkpoint is, they will bomb it, because it will be a natural bottleneck for people, aka lots of casualties. Whatever new action we take, we open up more weaknesses. This stupid security fad needs to die, and needs to die now. The world sucks, and you are NEVER safe. Accept it, live carefree and happy. Don’t let those murderous jerks (I censored myself, isn’t that nice?) wank to our fear.

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      Hear-hear. I believe it was Ben Franklin who said something like: “Those who would give up freedom to gain security will never have, nor do they deserve, either”.

      Or as Chancellor Palpatine put it: “In order to ensure the security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the First Galactic Empire! For a safe, and secure society.” Riiiiight…..

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen

      • praetorian

        Love the Star Wars line.

  • Justin H

    Well I’m sure this is America’s fault somehow, just wait and see (rolls eyes). Its probably Sarah Palin’s fault, she can see Russia from her house. And our political bickering made the terrorists carry out this act.

  • blight

    I means you have a porous security system from whatever country the bomber came in from. A theoretically “closed” system (like the American domestic one) ensures that every passenger coming through is clean the moment they enter the secured area and stays clean as long as they stay within it.

    If you fly from Bribelandia and pay your way through security, then you can set off a bomb at whatever airport you land at…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=845974716 John Moore

    Knowing the knee jerk reaction our people in home land security they will want to close all air ports until they can thing of what they are going to do.
    Here is my recommendation.:

    A. have a check point before the cars reach the parking lot for a visual check of what is the trunk, under and what inside the vehicle. Then let it pass on.

    B. have a check point in a building of some sort before the people enter into the air terminal main it self.

    C. a last check point before they get on the plane.

    D. check out every person who inters the terminal no matter where they are going.

    If they don’t find anything during these four check points then the people must be clean, but as the old saying goes “ if it they want to blow it up bad enough they will find a way to do it

  • Michael

    Times have changed since the 70s when I often picked up the American Airlines flight attendant I was dating in front of the terminal….several times I went to the crew lounge with her as it was open to visitors. I guess it will be different scene at SAN-Lindbergh Airport, San Diego.

  • Will

    Domededovo was, presumably, a target because of a desire to attract international attention to Russian government policies vis-a-vis former Soviet republics. More effective than an attack on a random target inside Russia because of the Russian government has the ability to censor media coverage of events. The US government has much less censorship, unless you’re a fan of conspiracy theories. A similar attack on almost any gathering of any sort of people would generate global publicity. The Russians might want to focus security on airports, but we have far more potential targets than can be protected. When it comes to terrorism directed against the USA, offense isn’t just the best defense, it’s the only effective one.

  • Tom

    What we DON’T need are more of those worthless scanning machines, how about bomb sniffing dogs circulating outside the terminal and a few more inside along with metal detectors. Oh and how about some PROFILING.

    We might also want to check our Muslim friends a bit more closely.

    • Robert

      But would that not be discrimination on the basis of religion, and CAIR and/or ACLU would then file all sorts of lawsuits, each one for millions of $$. It will take a terrorist strike even worse than 9/11 before our politicians get brave enought to actually take effective measures that work.

  • Ike

    Look to Israel…this isn’t rocket science. Much is made of their airline security; perhaps more needs written/reported on their airport security, of which I can tell you makes this a moot point (except in the US, where TSA knows best)…