Security Portal Screening

By holden | Jul 31, 2017, 09:53 AM
The recent security 'flap' has brought up a question for me. How sensitive are the machines you walk through and what do they detect. I'm a sports shooter and travel to WA to shoot on a regular basis. On the return trip going through Perth domestic I've always been wanded/swabbed after walking through the security gate and assumed that this machine picks up GSR. On my last trip this didn't happen and I asked the guy with the wand why I hadn't been singled out. He told me that the machine didn't detect GSR so I am puzzled as to why I've been singled out every time. I dress properly and don't think I look like a security risk (but who knows?) So does anyone know what those machines pick up?
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By Tancho | Jul 31, 2017, 11:47 AM
From what I know is that the test looks for explosives only. I had concerns with my previous job because I would have to visit mines where explosives were used, but the swabs never picked up anything, so I'm guessing they aren't super super sensitive. Then again, I was never close to where things were happening in the mine so maybe there was nothing to detect anyway.

And I still get singled out all the time. For me it seems to be the luck of the draw, every time I pass through security, the swab guy just happens to be free just as I pick up my bag off the x-ray scanner. I don't think I look like a security risk either, I think it is just bad luck/timing on my part.

Last edited by Tancho at Jul 31, 2017, 11.47 AM.
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By iflyineconomy | Jul 31, 2017, 12:20 PM




Interesting that the guard gave you that type of information, I would've thought that they would check for that also.

My personal opinion is that security in and around airports has always been too lax in Australia. Given the evolving nature of terrorism and their capabilities to evade security or have persons working for them inside airports as already demonstrated recently with Metrojet Flight 9268, Daallo Airlines Flight 159, it's nice to see increased screening, uniformed presence and use of technology to assist detection of possible problem people/items. I can also bet there would be a huge behind the scenes effort to check the bona fides of many airport workers and security guards.







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By thebigd | Aug 01, 2017, 10:05 AM
The recent security 'flap' has brought up a question for me. How sensitive are the machines you walk through and what do they detect. I'm a sports shooter and travel to WA to shoot on a regular basis. On the return trip going through Perth domestic I've always been wanded/swabbed after walking through the security gate and assumed that this machine picks up GSR. On my last trip this didn't happen and I asked the guy with the wand why I hadn't been singled out. He told me that the machine didn't detect GSR so I am puzzled as to why I've been singled out every time. I dress properly and don't think I look like a security risk (but who knows?) So does anyone know what those machines pick up?

I used to work doing security screening at the airport a few years ago so I will try and answer your questions:

1. The machine that you walk through is a Walk Through Metal detector it is used to detect metal on ones person. It has been set at a level that allows a certain amount of metal through but not enough that you can take a big metal object through like a knife.
2. The machines that they swap you are used to detect explosives only in the airport screening environment. They can be used to test GSR and drugs but haven't been configured for that.
3. Most of the major airports have gone to a system that will auto select the next person for the swab test. You will notice a tablet like device next to the swabbing machine they will press a button on it when they start the test then a button when then finish the test. When they have finished the test the machine will select the next person this will flash the Walk through metal detector a different colour when you walk through this will let the screener know too pick you. So the software doesn't know your sex, race, apparence etc. Just random. 
4. As I answered in 3 the system doesn't know what you look like so it might select a business person first then a uni student next. 

I hope that answers your questions.
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