Sunday, August 19, 2012

Airport security

I understand the need for airport security, but I often wonder if the measures adopted are too mechanical and  impractical.

Often, the sensors are set at such a low level that it beeps when you pass through the detection gate. Even a  small coin will trigger the beep.

It is quite inconvenient and troublesome to remove the belt, pen, coins, wallet, mobile phone, watch and other items and still get "beeped". One might as well go through the body search, without removing these items.

I know of many airports where the security is more relaxed. They did not get any bombs blew up in the plane.

In risk management, one has to measure the cost and benefits of any risk measure. Is this a case where the cost now outweighs the benefits?


yujuan said...

Mr. Tan should know well by now Singapore is a prime target for terrorism, not only our Airport is red alert danger zone, Orchard MRT and the Station linking Sentosa Island, and SIA flights are the most dangerous.
We are aware that our Govt has stopped being the big mouth of the past, has become more circumspect about passing comments on overseas terrorist reports. This is good for Singapore's security.
A small Nation like us should not be a show off, strutting visibly on the big world's stage. Then, we do not need to still stick to such tight security precautions, causing inconvenience to travellers at our famous Airport.

"How lian", and fear dun mix, it's a tiring and costly game to Singapore.

Anonymous said...

And we actually pay for these guards, sometimes more than the cost of the air ticket, to inconvenience us. Insane!!! Pay highly to be screwed. Sounds familiar? Are we really daft?!

Anonymous said...

There was an instance where the airport security was so impatient and rude that she abruptly removed the tray off the conveyor and right in front of me before I could finish collecting items from it. I had to give a loud "Wait!" shout at her. And she did't even apologise!

What kind of recruitment and training the authorities had given for these security personnel?

Anonymous said...

I used to carry a swiss knife in my hand luggage when I travelled business or pleasure. For quite a while, I was still able to do that and I thought airport securities do not think swiss knife was a threat.

One day, I was stopped at one of the regional airports for carrying the knife in my computer case. As I did not have checked in luggage, I have to leave the knife at the airline office until my next trip to collect it.

I was stopped for hair gel, water, key chain (???), lotion. The funny part was sometimes I have to ask airport security to show me the x-ray picture to locate where I put those stuffs.

I just hope those precautionary steps really make air travel safer because they are not pleasant to travellers. Seems like airport x-ray softwares are getting better in identifying things.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the security measures are to ensure we achieve No.1 ranking in airport surveys.

Whatever the reason.
Benefitting Singaporeans is unlikely to be in the decision criteria.

Tan Kin Lian said...


Please avoid this statement "Mr. Tan should well know by now ...". That is putting words in my mouth. Just make your statement without guessing what Mr. Tan should or should not know.

Anonymous said...

"...I had to give a loud "Wait!" shout at her. And she did't even apologise!"

This is a symptom of stress caused by stringent KPI of the staff.
They have time targets to complete security checks, and if they fail, the flight is delayed and they ( AETOS, the security contractor) will have this event recorded, which will affect THEIR ( AETOS ) KPI!

Regardless of the cause, such as passengers slowly appearing at the gates, the KPI does not give allowances for that.

Its the same in all business that rely on KPI to monitor performance.

And it is when productivity really shows up: labour vs machine.

Sorry for the poor people skills.
They are only low level staff and follow their manager's style of response... indifference.

yujuan said...

OK Mr Tan, if you think this way, my apologies.
Now it's your turn to apologise, you've been spelling my pen name wrong all the way.

Tan Kin Lian said...

Sorry yujuan.

Anonymous said...

Singapore airport is not only poorly designed, but must have the rudest and most arrogant security staff. They seem poorly trained and clearly are not employed to use common sense. I bought a bottle of VSOP duty free - still in its bag - and was taken as I went to board the plane. Twenty metres from where I purchased it..
I know they secretly video everything, but my request show the video was ignored... they are typical of the police state!!!!

Weng Mao Fa said...


...arrogant security staff..


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