Heathrow to check fingerprints
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 21/07/2007
Terminal 5 passengers will have fingers and faces scanned, says Jeremy Skidmore.
Fingerprinting of passengers, a process that has irritated many visitors to the United States, will soon be happening on some domestic flights within Britain.
Domestic passengers departing from Heathrow’s Terminal 5, which opens in March, will have to give a fingerprint and have their faces scanned as part of a security check before take-off. The checks are being brought in because both domestic and international passengers will share a common departure lounge and there are fears that those arriving on international flights may be able to bypass immigration control by booking an onward domestic flight to a regional airport.
This is total insanity.
Firstly, whenever someone gets off a plane, they go straight from the plane to immigration, where they are checked. They should then go to a waiting room that does not physically connect with domestic flight passengers.
The architects that designed Terminal 5 (Richard Rogers Partnership) should be sued for extreme negligence; can you name me a single airport where domestic and international passengers are allowed to freely mingle in a unified departure lounge?
This is one of the biggest design blunders ever in the history of airport design, and now, passengers flying on domestic flights are going to have to submit to fingerprinting just to travel in their own country.
International passengers departing through Terminal 5 will be subject to the normal checks and controls but will not undergo face scans or have to provide a fingerprint. At Gatwick, which also has a shared departure lounge for all passengers, domestic travellers already have their photographs taken.
Did you know this?
A spokeswoman for Terminal 5 said the new fingerprinting systems were a way of taking security to the next level. “At the moment there are no plans for any other passengers to be fingerprinted, but it is the way of the future. We work closely with the Home Office on security issues,” she said.
This is just total bullshit. USVISIT has been a total failure, costing billions only to catch a few people (1500 out of tens of millions of people violated) who have outstanding parking tickets.
From this autumn, those arriving at 10 US airports, including New York JFK, Chicago, Miami and Boston, will have to give fingerprints of all 10 fingers, raising fears of increased delays.
Note how the delays is the only thing concerning this writer.
Bob Mocny, the acting director of the US-Visit Programme, which runs immigration security, said the new technology would improve safety
That is a lie, and it is demonstrated by the figures.
and, eventually, be a fast system. He said the same system would be introduced across Europe in the future.
And from what crystal ball did he glean this information?
However, the Home Office said this week that it has no plans to insist on fingerprints for incoming passengers.
They will not be able to justify it using the USVISIT numbers – they just don’t add up.
“We take fingerprints across 80 different countries from people when they apply for visas and have stopped 4,000 people from coming in,” said a spokeswoman.
That is a totally different scenario. It has nothing to do with fingerprinting EVERYBODY whenever they want to travel.
Recent improvements in security at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted include the introduction of flat scanners that can read the new biometric indicators in e-passports.
That is not an improvement in security, it is more Security Theatre.
Extra checks on passengers have been introduced following the recent attempted terrorist attacks at airports, leading to fears of increased delays for passengers this summer.
And none of them will be of any use. All of them are Security Theatre.
I have to say, that this is close to the most absurd and insane thing I have ever read. A firm of architects opts to create a single departure lounge with international and domestic passengers unsegregated, and as a result, to fix the problem, people flying inside their own country have to be fingerprinted like criminals.
This is absolute, complete, cant-make-shit-like-this-up INSANITY.
Architecture should serve the people who have to live work and go through it. By failing to segregate domestic and international passengers, not only has Richard Rogers Partnership failed to consider the dignity of passengers who are going to go through Heathrow Terminal 5, but they have failed to understand the brief.
Security at an airport, at a minimum means ensuring that immigration rules are followed. It means carefully considering the flow of passengers and their status. By failing to implement passenger flow correctly by creating a shared departure lounge, Richard Rogers Partnership has created a building that will not only fail to serve the people who use and pass through it, but which will violate and humiliate millions of people. It will serve as yet another way to soften up the people to the idea of regular fingerprinting for even the most simple of things.
This is one of the greatest architectural disasters ever.