How Europe handles airport security
U.S. experts have long studied and admired how airport officials in Europe manage security, but there hasn't been the will or resources at U.S. airports to put European-style security measures into effect until now. In most European countries, the government is ultimately in charge of security, but it hires private firms to perform the actual security functions at the passenger level.
Here are some of those procedures:
That's because government agencies do not like to criticise themselves or one another and it is easier to get rid of a contractor than a poorly-performing civil servant.
Governments operate institutes for training the private security personnel with the basic airport guard getting about 120 hours of training and an extra 256 hours in Belgium to be certified for higher levels of work.
In England, workers at the three major London airports start at a salary of $27,500, but can earn over $30,000 with overtime and bonuses compared to $7 or $8 an hour in the U.S., with no health benefits.
Airport security guards are looked upon and regard themselves as professionals in Europe and the level of job satisfaction is high.
As a result, turnover in Belgium, for example, is 15 percent or less. Even the continent-wide average of below 50 percent is dramatically lower than in the U.S. where turnover can range from 150 percent per year to as high as 400 percent.
Source: Greg Schneider, Looking Abroad for Answers on Airport Security, Washington Post, October 9, 2001.
For text http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29081-2001Oct9.html
For more on Airport Security http://www.ncpa.org/pd/regulat/reg-1.html
FMF\16 October 2001
Publish date: 23 October 2001
The views expressed in the article are the author’s and are not necessarily shared by the members of the Foundation.