Why is every airport security screening process different?

Airport security screening requirements differ around countries and even local airports due to several factors: regulatory requirements; threat perception; threat assessment, and infrastructure and resources.

Cultural and political differences play a significant role in formulating the regulations and laws of different countries. For example, there may be a greater emphasis on personal privacy and civil liberties in some countries, while security concerns may be given more priority in others. These cultural and political differences affect the level of security required at airports and the types of security measures deemed acceptable. Countries that have experienced terrorist attacks may have more stringent security measures at their airports. In contrast, countries with a history of political instability may have more restrictions on certain items that can be brought into airports.

Each country and airport has different security threats and risks that must be assessed and addressed. For example, airports in countries with a high risk of terrorism may have stricter security screening requirements than airports in countries with lower stakes. Similarly, airports in countries with an increased risk of drug trafficking may have more stringent screening requirements for checked baggage. The threat level can also change depending on current events.

Differences in infrastructure and technology can also impact security screening requirements. For example, some airports may have more advanced screening equipment or greater capacity for passenger processing, which may affect the security measures they can implement.

Having similar security screening processes at every airport can provide several benefits, including increased consistency and predictability for travellers, improved security effectiveness, and streamlined operations for security personnel. Standardised processes can help to reduce confusion and delays for passengers, particularly those travelling across different countries or regions. It can also help to ensure that security personnel are consistently trained and equipped to handle potential security threats, regardless of location.

AI detection (artificial intelligence) installed on X-ray screening machines has the potential to improve the current screening process by automating specific tasks and improving the accuracy of threat detection. For example, AI algorithms can help to identify potential threats more quickly and accurately than human screeners, reducing the risk of false alarms and increasing efficiency. The database for the images could also be consistent across countries and updated, ensuring the same level of threat detection.  It can also help streamline the screening process by reducing the need for manual baggage. One such system, developed by Neural Guard, EyeFox, can be fitted to existing machines by connecting it to the video monitor output without purchasing new X-ray screening equipment.