Airports around the world are reviewing their security procedures after the bombing at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow on Monday, January 24th that killed 35 people and injured more than 100. The bomb was detonated in the arrivals area of the airport, an area than in many airports has little or no security. The same is true for the ticketing and baggage check areas, even though there are often dozens if not hundreds of people queuing up on busy travel days. A bomb in these areas on Thanksgiving weekend, for example, could kill as many people as downing a plane.
Unfortunately, we have become so accustomed to coordinating our security around attacks that have already happened that we have focused too narrowly on securing our planes and ignored the obvious threat posed by our open terminals. It is unfortunate that something like what happened in Moscow was necessary to make this clear. Hopefully this incident will cause airports worldwide to adopt heightened perimeter security similar to what you see at Israeli airports where travelers pass through several rings of security before they ever arrive at the terminal.