So do you think there are similar experiences in the U.S. The first in-depth study of European airports, conducted by the EU-funded Behavioral Modeling for Security in Airports BEMOSA Consortium, found airport personnel do not rely primarily on procedures or rules in emergency cases. The report contains the first results of an extensive study aimed at obtaining data on how emergencies and security threats are actually handled in airports. The results will be presented at a special workshop on applying human factors to airport security. The workshop will be hosted by BEMOSA in Belgium May 25.

BEMOSA experts concluded there appeared to be a definite need to improve security decision-making procedures. The need arises out of the observed problems of recognizing a threat and acting upon it. The report said there appears to be a gap between procedures and actual behavior when a threat is recognized and especially when it is acted upon. Some of the key findings of the report stated the following: only 53.1 percent of airport employees and 63 percent of security workers said they put complete trust in security technologies; only 23.6 percent of airport employees and 58 percent of security workers said they alerted others when they saw something suspicious; and 54.3 percent of the workers and 40 percent of security personal never raised the alarm or called a security code. The study aims to describe real behavior patterns in order to develop airport staff training programs for improving crisis handling and hazard reduction.

On the U.S. side as compared to the EU, Democratic leaders of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee pressed the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration TSA April 12 to ensure a biometric solution for airplane crewmember screening. The lawmakers noted such a system is authorized by the Implementing Recommendations of the 911 Commission Act Public Law 110-53, which contains a provision enabling TSA to establish an expedited security screening system for sterile area access control within commercial service airports. TSA has been working on a crewmember identity verification system the past 3 years. The Democratic Representatives said not only does it make sense to apply the system to all crewmembers, but doing so would reduce congestion at air passenger security checkpoints and enable TSA screeners to focus more effectively and efficiently on possible threats.