Better Airport Security Begins with the Worker

Screening Checkpoint at Boston Logan Internati...
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I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about airport security.  I travel constantly and see policy-driven TSA agents try to make us safe by using the latest technology.  However, I and many other travelers seem less safe.

Rules, procedures and edicts rule at the airports.  Hierarchy and control are the order of the day.  Mix in some expensive technology and we all feel less secure.

Why?  We eliminate the first line of defense by shutting their brains off.

Not to copy, but certainly a different approach is the Israeli security system at airports.  Interviews with questions conducted by the best technology of our time . . . people.  Tough questions that can throw off  anyone that intends to harm people on flights.

This approach is far from the technology and procedure driven approach that the US takes.  The US approach can not absorb the variety that terrorists bring as no method is used twice.  Procedures are always a step behind and when the bad guys figure them out the result is bound to be catastrophic.

Give me the agent that asks tough questions and can absorb the variety that is brought to the check stations.  Less technology and more personal touch (without touching) will make passengers more comfortable too.

We can start 2011 by making our skies safer with more relevant agents working our airports with a system that is designed around them and not the technology.

Leave me a comment. . . share your opinion!  Click on comments below.

Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public).  His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work.  Read his articles at Quality Digest and his column for  Download free from “Understanding Your Organization as a System” and gain knowledge of systems thinking or contact us about our intervention services at [email protected].  Reach him on Twitter at LinkedIn at

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