Airplane Security

I will be leaving for Surabaya next week to attend a central bankers meeting. Central bankers love to have meetings. I noted that the agenda even though heavy with materials but was also heavy with social programmes (one that involves a stick and a tiny little ball which you play on acres of spaces). I think it's something to do with the fact that in most countries, central bankers are the highest earning people in the entire government infrastructure. Unfortunately, I am only representing the equivalent of our central bank, so we don't earn as much as in other countries.

Whenever I travel, what always tickle me will always be the security checks at the airports. It's not just our airports but airports all over the world, the security people have been briefed that nothing sharp should be carried on board. And this includes of all things, nail clippers, tiny little scissors, nail file and any other sharp stationeries. I have seen too many cases where all these have been confiscated and most people could never be bothered to ask for them at the end of the flight from the captain and so all these items end up at airports. I am just wondering where the storage site is for all these things because these will pile up. The funny thing is, once they have taken all these stuff away from you, the airline will serve you food with cutlery far deadlier than all the stuff that the security people have taken from you. The knife and the fork can really be more dangerous than a nail clipper. I smile about this everytime the airline served me.

I once flew from Zurich bringing in one of RBA's new Airbus A320 plane. The brand new A320 was at Zurich undergoing last minute fitting of the entertainment system before flying to Brunei. The work was done by Swissair Technics. Swissair Technics incidentally was formerly the engineering arm of Swissair. The engineering arm actually made lots of money but Swissair itself did not. So the airline closed down but the engineering spinoff continue until today. Maybe a lesson there for RBA. Anyway, we did not have that much spare time in Zurich to go round shopping and when the Swissair Technics people hear that we did not have the time to search for the famous Swiss Army knives, they were a bit upset. So, the next day, when it was time for us to fly back to Brunei, at the door of the airplane (we flew from the factory runaway and all of us were very unlikely to hijack our own plane, so there was no security check), the Swissair Technics people was handing to each of us, a Swiss Army multipurpose knife! Each of us (about 10 of us) are now armed with the most dangerous of all weapons getting on board that flight. We had a good laugh about it on the way back to Brunei. That was the first time (and probably the last time) I ever had a real knife with me on board a plane.

I guess the lesson here is, whoever it is that is going to do a bad deed will know what to do. I am least worried about the little nail clipper someone brings on board but I am more worried about other things including all those other personnel who goes in and out of airplanes, I sure hope someone monitors them carefully.


Anonymous said…
In Chile, all the confiscated items for the purpose of manicure and pedicure are kept on a big transparent containers in front of the immigration counters.I think thats a big warning to all passengers things that should not be brought on the plane.

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