Centralised security screening inefficient, risky

Having used quite a few airports in my business and leisure travels all these years, I caution against plans for centralised screening at the upcoming Changi Airport Terminal 4 (" Upcoming Changi T4 to have centralised security checks"; Feb 11).

My experience with centralised screening is that it is massive, there are long queues, the process takes a longer time, especially during peak periods, and it creates a lousy experience.

The experience will be aggravated for the passenger because you are funnelling a lot of people into a concentrated area and, sometimes, tempers are short, especially when passengers are rushing to catch their flights.

In addition, after the screening, passengers are allowed into the concourse, where they can patronise cafes, restaurants and lounges.

How do you prevent someone from taking knives onto the plane?

It would be a massive undertaking to monitor each customer closely to ensure he does not take knives onto the plane after his meal, as well as to do proper stocktaking of cutlery after each customer finishes eating.

It is very easy for someone to slip through the net.

And if metal cutlery is banned, it would create additional costs.

The current system of dispersed screening at the gates is more efficient and safer (from a traveller's perspective).

It also allows for better isolation of any incident, with smaller crowd exposure, if anything untoward were to happen.

Thus, I hope the authorities will seriously reconsider the decision.

Yeo Thye Lye

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2016, with the headline 'Centralised security screening inefficient, risky'. Print Edition | Subscribe