ARL Logo
Risky Thinking
On Risk Management, Business Continuity, and Security
24 June, 2017
Does everyone remember the plan?
It's a problem.

Airport Insecurity

You may not be able to take nail scissors through airport security, but a collection of dangerous objects will always be readily available the other side of the barrier.

The last time I traveled through Ottawa airport (that’s the capital of Canada, not the small town in Ohio), I had a problem at security.

I’d forgotten to pack my trusty Swiss Army Knife in checked baggage, and was stopped by an alert security guard just before I reached the metal detector. (No she didn’t have X-ray vision, it was attached to my belt).

Before 9/11, carrying a penknife onto an aircraft was never a problem. Once, when the penknife triggered a metal detector at Montreal airport, I recall an experienced security guard explaining to a new security card that a “canif” with a small blade was perfectly acceptable.

This time, however, I could not take it with me. My “checked” baggage had already gone through so I had to phone my wife and get her to come back to the airport to collect my penknife. (I’m really very attached to that penknife).

All of which makes the above photograph rather ironic. It shows a special container for disposing of sharp objects. I observed it in the gentlemen’s toilets in the secure area of the terminal at Ottawa airport. As you can see, the container is half full.

So even if you didn’t manage to bring any nasty sharp objects with you through security, you can conveniently pick up a few here.

Michael Z. Bell
November, 2008

Want to know when new articles are available? Subscribe to the Risky Thinking Newsletter and keep up to date. It's free for people working in business continuity, disaster recovery, or risk management.

[ Back To Top ]


Note. Where trademarks are mentioned, they belong to their respective owners.

© Albion Research Ltd. 2017