Airport security checks are too inconvenient and too inconsistent across Europe, Danish airport leaders say. Photo: Lars Helsinghof Bæk/Scanpix
Johnnie Müller, the head of security at Copenhagen Airport, says it’s time to cut down on the number of security procedures passengers must undergo before boarding a plane.
“The volume of legislation has become so great that it has enormous consequences for all European airports,” Müller – who is also the security chairman for Airports Council International, which represents 450 European airports – told TV2.
Müller said that the increased security requirements have caused Copenhagen Airport to more than double its number of security employees since 2007.
“If it continues, we will end up with only security personnel in the airports and no passengers. We need to find a balance,” he said.
In addition to security measures being inconvenient for passengers, he said there is too much inconsistency throughout Europe, with some places requiring the removal of shoes and others the removal of belts, for example. Müller said that Europe should implement a system similar to the Secure Flight Program in the United States, where a pre-check system allows passengers to move more quickly through security if they provide information beforehand.
Søren Svendsen, the CEO of Aalborg Airport, echoed his Copenhagen colleague’s call to re-evaluate airport security, telling Politiken that many airports put passengers through more thorough checks than are actually needed.
At Billund Airport, CEO Kjeld Zacho Jørgensen said it would be a good idea to rethink security measures.
“On the one hand, we all agree that security comes before everything else. But on the other hand, one must question if some of the procedures are lacking concrete reasons,” Jørgensen told Politiken.
Even the former head of the Danish Security Intelligence Service (PET) said that current European airport procedures are ineffective.
“Some of the security rules are ridiculous. Anyone who understands terror knows that you can easily produce an explosive that could be hidden in bottles that hold less than 100 millimetres and could be therefore taken on board,” Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen told Politiken.
The Danish calls for fewer and more uniform security checks come as the European Union prepares to implement anti-security measures that will require the collection and storage of personal passenger information ranging from passport and payment information to seat and bag ticket numbers and special meal requests. The data collection was suggested by French foreign minister Bernard Cazaneuve in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks.