To defend ourselves from terrorism we must give up on something. European leaders have embraced this idea after last week’s attacks in Brussels. Therefore, new airport security measures will be discussed on the occasion of the EU Air Safety Committee meeting. The model they are going to take into consideration is the one used in Tel Aviv, which would introduce a first security check right at the entrance of the airports, with metal detectors, as well as ticket and passport control.
Even the Domodedovo airport in Moscow has introduced this kind of protocol after having suffered, in 2011, an attack similar to that in Brussels at the hand of a suicide bomber who killed 37 people at the entrance. The Aviation Safety Committee will also consider the cons: additional costs of about 10%, the risk that a suicide bomber may still blow himself up in the middle of the people lined up in front of metal detectors, especially in large airports with thousands of people who are waiting at any hour. Besides, Europe would send a message of fear to the terrorists themselves if it introduced such measures.
“Zero risk does not exist. That is the reason why the goal will be maintaining a proportionality approach”, EU sources explained. According to them, “non-binding recommendations” will be adopted, which “will allow every single airport to decide for itself”, especially to avoid weighing too much on the smaller regional airports that are less attractive targets for terrorists and where the costs would be too high.
As to security on the underground, Brussels has no authority, because it is local transport. In any case, many cities – from Madrid to London, from Moscow to Paris – have already suffered bomb attacks in the past, but both because of the costs and because of the impossibility to put scanners or controls at the entrance and at the exit of every single station, no one has ever introduced special measures.