In April this year, a handgun was found in the carry-on luggage of a passenger who had flown from Los Angeles to Sydney. News reports stated that the weapon was hidden. The question arises, “How did it get onboard the aircraft?”
Human error in security X-ray screening that leads to the failure to detect weapons and other threat items can have severe consequences for the airline industry, including safety risks for passengers and crew, damage to the airline’s reputation, and legal liability. There are several potential causes of human error in these cases:
- Inadequate training: Security personnel not trained to recognise potential threats may miss items that pose a safety risk.
- Fatigue and stress: Security personnel who are overworked or under pressure may be less attentive and more likely to miss potential threats.
- Distractions: Security personnel may be distracted by other factors, such as loud noises, conversations, or personal issues, which can impact their ability to focus on the screening process.
- Complacency: If security personnel become too familiar with the low threat detection rate of the screening process, they may become complacent and miss potential threats.
- Human factors: Factors such as biases, decision-making heuristics, and cognitive load can impact the ability of security personnel to identify and detect potential threats accurately.
To address these human error causes, the airline industry can improve security X-ray screener training and provide ongoing support to security personnel. This may include providing regular refresher training and testing, implementing fatigue management strategies, minimising distractions in screening areas, and implementing processes and systems that help to reduce cognitive load and mitigate the impact of biases and decision-making heuristics. Additionally, investing in technology such as AI-powered threat detection systems and other advanced screening technologies can help to reduce the risk of human error and improve the overall effectiveness of the screening process.
A computer-based X-ray simulator is the most effective way to improve detection abilities. One of the best is SIMFOX, a bespoke simulator which emulates the interface of the most popular machines. Designed and developed by Renful Premier Technologies and used around the world it provides training, and testing and is fully customisable.
Renful Premier Technologies has been at the forefront of advanced security training since 1994, specialising in the research, development and delivery of state-of-the-art products and services. Contact their team of specialists to see how they can provide solutions for all your needs.