Latest terrorist scare means a step up in security measures

A Nigerian man named Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab was arrested on Christmas Day following his failed bizarre attempt to ignite and detonate a kind of explosive device on board a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam that landed in Detroit Metro Airport, Michigan. After much to do which involved shouting by the suspect about the war in Afghanistan as he created a fore of sorts, the plane eventually landed safely and in the end only the suspect himself was injured. It is understood that the alleged terrorist was clearly on the passenger manifesto that was routinely forwarded to the U.S. authorities prior to takeoff and was later cleared. Apparently he had a U.S. visa valid for the first half of 2010.

As a direct consequence of this terrorist incident, the U.S. authorities requested foreign airports to step-up security measures on all passengers boarding flights departing to the U.S. In reality this meant that airline passengers across Eurozone immediately had to endure additional body searches and new limits on hand luggage over the festive season, following tighter security imposed by U.S. which forms part of its response to the issue that occured on the flight bound for Detroit.

Interestingly, a number of passengers flying to the U.S. from London Heathrow in the UK commented that they received text messages to inform them that the hand baggage allowance had been reduced to just one item, which no doubt will become a great bind to many business travellers if this situation continues.

In Italy the civil aviation authority, ENAC, confirmed that they have tightened security at airports across all international airports in the country for passengers leaving for the United States, with measures including the increased manual body and baggage searches.

At this juncture it is important to clarify for all our readers that the extra security measures will now apply on a worldwide basis for all flights to the U.S. This is sadly set to continue for an indefinite period as part of the so called counterterrorism effort. It only goes to prove that the actions of a terrorist can once again inhibit the comfort, convenience and to some respect the perceived freedom of travellers across the world.

Aviation and Airport Security: Terrorism and Safety Concerns, Second Edition