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A question of security

A question of security

Airport security measures: Are they a boon or burden? According to the Kipp poll, they’re a blessing as far as readers are concerned.

November 15, 2010 3:23 by

Kipp’s journey to Boston earlier this year was punctuated by “random” but no less compromising security checks that involved rather invasive prodding, caressing and jabbing, the likes which we hadn’t experienced since bouts of childhood wrestling. Being made to de-belt, de-shoe and empty the contents of our laptop bag at every check point, we were quite sure the results of this week’s polls would reflect a disdain for the very inconvenient and time consuming nature of security measures at airports.

But, boy were we wrong. When we asked our Kipp readers if they thought, in light of the recent interception of bomb-parcels from Yemen on US-bound flights, airports should tighten security measures, more than 60 percent of our readers said yes. A chunky 54.5 percent said they thought that tighter security can help save lives, and 7.5 percent said they thought airports still aren’t doing enough. And 12.5 percent were indifferent to the matter, leaving just 25 percent in the no camp with us.

But even more surprising was our reader reaction to the implementation of full body scanners in airports. The scanners have been the source of much contention due to the potential health hazards they pose, not to mention the graphic image they generate of every naked body. UAE General Civil Aviation Authority Director Saif al Suwaidi told Gulf News last month the UAE has postponed the use of the scanner because of its potential health hazards and also due to cultural sensitivity. He said: “The body scanner might raise some problems especially in our cultural context where nudity is a very sensitive subject. Even if the face is hidden, there is still some difficulty in introducing the idea here. We are not in a hurry to install the device because our airports provide other security measures such as the metal detector.”

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