Israelification: The Answer to Our Air Travel Woes? Israelification: The Answer to Our Air Travel Woes?

Israelification: The Answer to Our Air Travel Woes?

by Patrick James

January 6, 2010
Over at the community blog, Craig just linked to a fascinating article on security measures employed in Israeli airports. The takeaway is that in Israel-where airlines face far more frequent threats than those in the United States-security is both beefier and more efficient. But how can security possibly be heightened without resulting in slower, longer lines? From The Star:
"It is mindboggling for us Israelis to look at what happens in North America, because we went through this 50 years ago," said Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy. He's worked with the RCMP, the U.S. Navy Seals and airports around the world."Israelis, unlike Canadians and Americans, don't take s--- from anybody. When the security agency in Israel (the ISA) started to tighten security and we had to wait in line for - not for hours - but 30 or 40 minutes, all hell broke loose here. We said, 'We're not going to do this. You're going to find a way that will take care of security without touching the efficiency of the airport."That, in a nutshell is "Israelification" - a system that protects life and limb without annoying you to death.
The system involves six different layers of check points, with armed guards who are trained to look for suspicious behavior and who actually speak to travelers. According to the global travel consultancy AR Challenges President Rafi Sela, the success of Israeli security lies in looking at how people behave, not in looking for liquids or things hidden in shoes. That, and the coordinated intelligence gathering that keeps officers apprised of threats before they ever reach the airport. "But even without the intelligence, Sela maintains, [would-be Flight 253 bomber Umar Farouk] Abdulmutallab would not have gotten past [Israel's] Ben Gurion Airport's behavioural profilers."Granted, we're talking about countries of very different size, but when you consider the sad, cumbersome state of American air travel, our airlines can probably use all the help they can get.Photo via Daily Mail.
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Israelification: The Answer to Our Air Travel Woes?