Checkpoint of the Future

Trying to improve airport security is like painting a wrecked car. Better yet it’s like trying to reconcile with your ex-wife: it may seem like they’ve changed their ways but in the end they’re still gonna make you frustrated and take your stuff. Yet this is what the International Air Transport Association (IATA) plans to do over the next three years. The association wants to implement changes to the current, outdated system of “walk through this metal detector and I’ll decide if you need further screening”.

The current format simply checks if you have dangerous items, not dangerous ambitions. First, the results of a risk assessment conducted by the government (likely based on convictions or the type of work you do) will be stored on a biometric identifier in your passport. This way you probably won’t end up sitting next to convicted felons who handle dynamite for a living. Based on this level of risk passengers will be asked to go through one of three security lanes. “Known travelers” like pilots, government agents, and other frequent flyers (celebrities) will have the option to register and complete a background check to be able to go through the first lane, one with quick, minimal security. Regular passengers (yes, all you nonpilots are normal passengers) will go through the middle lane, a quicker checkpoint that saves you the time and hassle of taking off your shoes and emptying your pockets. The remaining passengers, for which less information is available or are seen as an “elevated risk” will have a more thorough screening process that will still make modern screening processes look like the joke they are.