The terrible attacks at Istanbul Airport have made the debate over either air security should include public areas at the expense of freedom emerge once again. Indeed, the additional screening covers the check-in zone but leaves an important public area unprotected, which could be a soft / easy target for terrorists.
Would the terrorists of the Brussels airport attacks (24th March 2016) have been spotted, and therefore stopped, if a wider security cordon had protected the terminal.
This is the question that raises the repeated attacks in airports ( 2013, L.A. Airport); (2011, Moscow Demodedovo Airport); (2007, Glasgow Airport) : How broadly should airports be protected ? And without creating any inconvenience for passengers. For now, much of the space used by passengers is juste a little more secured than an ordinary street.
However, additional checks not only add to the hassles for air travellers but risk creating another line of people vulnerable to terror attack, which experts would call « transferred risk ».
In Israel, where aviation security is considered as best in the world, people are not automatically screened when they arrive at the airport. Instead, trained staff is located around the Airport to do a « profiling » on people. This is however dangerous since it can bring a certain form of racism (colour of skin, religion…) into the judgement.
"We need to focus much more on behavioral analysis, on negative intent, rather than prohibited items," said Philip Baum, author of "Violence in the Skies: A History of Aircraft Hijacking and Bombing" and editor of Aviation Security International.
However, unsecured airport zone remain "soft targets" — places such as transit centers and malls where citizens might fear terrorism but also value the freedom to move without restrictions. Secretary of State John Kerry said after the Paris attacks that ISIS and other groups was seeking to capitalize on the unexpectedness of attack locations to maximize fear.