Airport Security and terrorism

Hijacking at Christchurch AirportThe incident on Friday involving a knife, a Somali woman, and a small aircraft highlights the absurdity of airport security in New Zealand.

Why has the differentiation existed between the smaller planes that fly between regions and the jets that fly between the main centres?

I’m surely not the first person to notice that regional flights are NOT secure. I’ve been in the front row of an aircraft traveling from Wellington to Nelson and have been almost able to physically reach out and touch the pilots.

Perhaps security is in direct correlation to the size of the plane: small turbo-prop aircraft equals minor damage on impact with engine with loss of tens of lives, compared with Boeing 737 inflicting far greater damage with greater loss of life.

Perhaps airports need to consider changing how they process travelers. Instead of having an X-Ray machine and security on every gate why not have one central entrance-way to all gates where security is performed.

It’s not just the regional airports that don’t use X-ray machines. Any regional flight out of Wellington and Auckland have free and unfettered embarkation of flights. It’s probably the same in Christchurch, Dunedin and Hamilton.

The CAA can’t pick and choose who deserves to be safe and who doesn’t. It’s either all or nothing.

2 thoughts on “Airport Security and terrorism”

  1. Maybe a better more cost effective trade off is to focus on pilot safety? If said nutbar was on that flight but couldn’t gain access to the pilots… how would the situation have turned out?

    Passengers would have still been at risk… but they are anyway on the jets w/security. If someone wants to harm you on a flight, they’ll find a way to do it even if it’s just with their hands.

    I just don’t see an airport like Timaru or Hokitika, who only have 2 flights leaving each day, being able to stay feasible if they need to scan passengers in the same way….

    And btw, Wellington is the ONLY major domestic airport in NZ that scans people at every gate. Chch only has one scan point, as does Auckland, as does Dunedin. It’s Wellington that is the odd one out here.

  2. As you point out protecting the pilots only ensures the plane is unlikely to fall out of the sky (except in the case of a bomb). It also puts the onus on the passengers to disarm the nutball. I can think of better things to do on a plane than wrestle a terrorist. Have you seen United 93? It didn’t look much fun 🙂

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