Most of the 325 million people that connect every year at hub airports are screened twice: at departure, and again when they change flights. This is mostly due to poor cooperation on the part of governments. “One-stop security” is the concept of screening people for prohibited items once, at the beginning of their journey only.
Connecting flights central to carriers’ operations
One quarter of the passengers at large airports today are actually in transfer – using the airport to get from one flight to another. Quick and efficient connections are at the heart of the hub and spokes system put in place by network carriers. But at the moment, precious time, efforts and resources are being wasted by re-screening transfer passengers.
One-stop security is not a new concept
One-stop security has been approved by the European Commission (EC) but has to be adopted on an airport-by-airport, nation-by-nation basis in the European Union (EU). It is already in place for flights within the EU and, unilaterally, for flights from the United States to Europe.
Several regions and countries have already embraced one-stop security and the recognition of equivalence. One-stop security pilot projects have been conducted in Panama and El Salvador. In a major breakthrough, the United States, European Union, and Switzerland agreed to a mutual recognition of each other’s cargo security programs. The United States and Canada signed a similar agreement, and the European Union and Canada have carried out an initial comparison of their respective security systems.
Putting One-stop security back on the agenda
Work with ICAO is underway to promote one-stop security to other regions and countries, particularly the recognition of either unilateral or one-way, one-stop agreements. Additionally, work is ongoing to provide passengers on flights from Europe to the United States with the same one-stop benefits provided to passengers traveling in the other direction.