Criminal Justice

Airport Profiling


Screening passengers at airports has emerged over the past decade as a complex practice that is required to ensure the safety of all passengers boarding both domestic and international flights. However, this practice is difficult to manage in many ways because it unnecessarily targets some passengers and not others on the basis of assumptions that are made regarding skin color, clothing, or other characteristics that may lead airport screeners to conduct excessive profiling techniques. With this process, some people are likely to be screened extensively without just cause, while others who might be suspect or from different questionable backgrounds are not screened using the same approach. This is a difficult situation to understand from the perspective of the typical passenger because the manner in which screening and profiling is conducted is not consistent, nor does it provide any greater means of safety and security for passengers. These considerations must be examined more closely to determine how to best move forward in the development of a more effective strategy for passenger profiling that includes potential terrorists.