Passengers of charter flights are responsible for the majority of extra costs arising from delays in airport security checks, according to scientific research conducted by airport security consulting company, Kirschenbaum Consulting.
The findings are based on a one-year in-depth study held at a regional European airport. The results indicate that while only 10-15% of scheduled passengers carried prohibited items, 33-50% of charter passengers did so.
Moreover, while only 10% of regular flyers were re-examined by security employees, 33% of charter passengers needed another check.
The research, which included both an ethnographic and time-motion study, also showed that, while charter passengers accounted for less than 50%of overall traffic, they were responsible for an additional 35% of the overall security costs.
Even though the majority of passengers pass through the security process very quickly, passengers who negotiate with the security personal consume close to 80% of the time spent passing through screening.
“Security has become a key cost component in airports. Passenger behavior and its significance to airport profits should not be underestimated,” said Prof Alan (Avi) Kirschenbaum , founder and CEO of Kirschenbaum Consulting.
“We can clearly see that delays at the screening check point are directly related to the type of passenger involved. This requires paying more attention to the role that the human factor can have on security costs.”
Kirschenbaum added that it could be conjectured that charter passengers were more likely to purchase holiday gifts and, given their lower sensitivity to security, more likely to be stopped for possessing prohibited items.
Airports estimate that it should take 20-30 seconds for a regular passenger to pass through the security screening process. The research showed, however, that it took those ignorant of the rules one to two minutes.
Prof. Kirschenbaum will present the findings at the Passenger Terminal Expo, which will take place on April 9-11, 2013, in Geneva Switzerland.