Airport security study

February 24, 1991|By Knight-Ridder News Service

Most airport security is cosmetic, uniformed staffs are ill-trained, and their checks to detect and deter terrorism are often lax, according to an investigative report by Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

The February issue details how reporters gained easy access to off-limit airplane-loading areas at five major U.S. and five big international airports. In another test, reporters in three of nine cases were able to check unaccompanied luggage onto international flights, a technique believed to have been used in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 two years ago.

They also rigged up a video camera to resemble a bomb, but only once in 55 tests of passenger checkpoints at airports in the United States did security guards spot it in carry-on luggage and act properly in investigating it.

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