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Re: Lack of Security

  • From: Joel Baker
  • Date: Thu Sep 13 12:38:37 2001

On Thu, Sep 13, 2001 at 12:42:04AM -0600, Matthew S. Hallacy wrote:
> Unfortunately in places such as MSP (Minneapolis/St. Paul International) 
> you enter the building, the ticket windows are the first thing you see, and
> everything else is beyond the metal detectors, (Food, Drink, Gift shops, and
> the restrooms iirc) the only airport I can recall that is setup properly
> for the new regulations would be Kansas City where they have metal detectors
> and x-ray machines at _every gate_ enclosed with glass partitions.

Having flown in and out of KCI (er, MCI, er... anyway) many times, there
is one additional feature - deboarding passengers leave the gate area
*immediately*, behind a cordon, and after only 20 feet or so are outside
that glass wall - so there is a natural arrangement to encourage people
*not* to wait in the cordoned gate area for pickups. A few folks do drop
offs there, and go in to wait with departures, but while this is permitted,
it is actively discouraged, and most folks appear to just stand in line
and wait for the checkpoint with whomever they're with, then hug and break
off rather than pass the checkpoint. Oh, and because it's clear glass, you
can still stand outside and "keep an eye" on folks (small children, etc),
or watchin for someone deboarding.

Between SJC, SFO, OAK, Las Vegas, Reno, SLC, O'Hare, Boston, Hartford, and
Kansas City, the *only* airport designed at all rationally to separate the
final gate travellers from those accompanying but not flying, and provide
everything else reasonably, was Kansas City.

Unfortunately, the price is fairly direct - you cannot get by with 3-4
"stations" of 2-3 detectors each, and manning only 1-2 of those. Each and
every gate must be separated and have it's own sniffers, detectors, and
security inspection. The manpower cost is increased significantly (though
the gate areas are not staffed unless it is within about 1.5 hours prior
to a departure from that gate). And most current airports could be retro-
fitted to accomodate this, though it certainly wouldn't be easy in some of
them. But if the restriction remains in place, it will probably be demanded
by travellers.
Joel Baker                           System Administrator -
[email protected]