Amsterdam Schiphol airport in damage control mode after terror attempt

If you want a surefire way to have the international aviation community look down on your airport, all you need to do is make the news as “the airport” where a terror attempt originated.

Amsterdam Schiphol is the airport where yesterdays trouble may have started. I’m of course talking about the attempt at blowing up a Northwest Airlines/Delta Airlines plane bound for Detroit.

The Nigerian passenger started his trip in Lagos, but transited in Amsterdam, and that part of his trip is at the core of political question time in The Netherlands.

According to airport security officials, he probably arrived at Schiphol with the explosives already strapped to his legs, but current screening technology at the airport can’t detect non-metallic objects. European airports have been asking for full body scanners for several years, but the European Commission is blocking their implementation because of privacy concerns.

Assuming Schiphol acted correctly, and screened the passenger as demanded by the United States, the airport can’t be blamed for allowing the passenger to board. Part of the screening procedure is a “fly/no fly” permission system, and according to the airline, the United States greenlighted the Nigerian terrorist to fly to the States – even though he was on an international watch list.

If you are flying from Amsterdam to the United States, you’ll need to be prepared for long delays, as all US bound planes are undergoing enhanced screening procedures.