There really has to be a better way. I don't know if the suggestion in the following article is the best way to go, but at least it's a starting point for looking for more effecient ways of dealing with ecurity in air travel.
Call for frequent flyers to skip airport checks - National - smh.com.au
FREQUENT-FLYER benefits could extend to passengers being fast-tracked through aviation security, if the head of Sydney Airport gets his way.
Max Moore-Wilton yesterday outlined a two-tier system for airline passengers: one for those known to airlines as regular and safe passengers, and those who are unknown to airlines.
"I see no reason why regular flyers should be treated as if it's the first time they've been to an airport," said Mr Moore-Wilton, chairman of Sydney Airport Corporation.
He said that within two years a frequent flyer's booking could be tested against a database of personal information - if the Federal Government and overseas authorities give the go-ahead.
"When you went to the airport, there'd be a line for known travellers. You wouldn't have to take off your belt or your shoes.
"This is not about profiling Muslims: it's about people opting in to saying you can assess risk."
Mr Moore-Wilton said his cost-cutting and time-saving proposal was akin to random breath testing. "You don't stop everyone, because you know most have not had too much to drink," he said. "We treat everyone as if they're a potential terrorist. It's dumb."
He acknowledged his views might be seen as contrary to Australian sensitivities about discriminatory treatment. "That's a particularly old-fashioned view. We see differentiation in every part of society."
A spokesman for the Transport Minister, Warren Truss, said the proposition had been informally discussed and would be further considered as part of the "constant review of aviation security".
Addressing the Focus on Business conference in Canberra, Mr Moore-Wilton said it was questionable whether the tripling of security costs at Sydney Airport - to $48 million a year - or the $US5 billion annual increase in global aviation security since September 11, 2001 were value for money.
He said balance was needed between security screening and "the relatively free flow of people".
Otherwise, he said, widespread chaos resulted, as it did in Britain with the recent in-flight ban on liquids and gels. "Passengers were standing in line for hours," Mr Moore-Wilton said. "Thousands of bags missed flights … and hundreds of flights were cancelled.
"This is not to say that it is not legitimate to meet the public expectations about security. However, the financial impacts, the assessed risk and the effectiveness of the introduced measures all need to be carefully considered."
He said airport security was "least efficient" in the area of human involvement. "Security is relatively low paid, with relatively low skills. That will have to change to interface with increasingly sophisticated technology."