Logan International Airport is the first airport in nation to enhance security with an innovative behavior pattern recognition program based on 30 years of Israeli airport experience. The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), which owns and operates Logan, has trained members of the Massachusetts State Police to identify hostile intent by observing and interviewing passengers and others in the airport's terminals, curbs, roads, and parking garages. Trained by aviation security expert Rafi Ron, troopers will observe passengers and watch for irregular behavior or conduct. This marks the first time that the Israeli airport security model has been adapted for a U.S. airport environment. The behavior pattern recognition program contributes to Massport's mission of creating an efficient, multi-layered security system for the airport.
"This program allows us to focus our resources on the small percentage of individuals that need a second look, instead of putting everyone through the wringer. As we implement this initiative, customer service and politeness will be a key priority," said Massport CEO Craig P. Coy. "By tailoring the focus of our law enforcement personnel, we can provide smart, effective security and, ultimately, better service to our passengers. Building on 30 years of real-world Israeli experience, Logan is once again forging ahead with intelligent and innovative solutions."
"Our troopers will be in a proactive mode, using their skills and training to observe passenger behavior. Experience has shown that by looking at behavior - and not race or ethnicity - we can help prevent terrorist acts instead of responding to them," said State Police Major Thomas Robbins. "This program creates an additional layer of security and introduces a screening selection process driven by knowledge and not randomness."
"We are aggressively seeking new ways to achieve the highest levels of security and this is a proven addition to our overall training curriculum," said Dennis Treece, Massport's Director of Corporate Security.
The program was developed for Massport by security consultant, Rafi Ron. For more than 30 years, Ron played a key role in Israel's counter-terrorism efforts as a special operations paratrooper, one of the original El Al sky marshals, and as an intelligence and embassy security officer. Ron retired in 2001 from government service after five years as the director of security for Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport and the Israeli Airport Authority.
"A key component of this program is that it treats the passengers with respect and not as suspects. Everyone is assumed innocent and to have reasonable explanations," said Ron. "Whether it is bag screening or adopting Israeli counter-terrorism measures, Logan is setting the standard for airport security in the United States."
Massport's plan to selectively question passengers is the latest in a series nationally-recognized aviation security initiatives. In June 2002, Logan became the first major airport to have a 100% inline baggage screening plan approved by the TSA. In addition, Logan was the first airport to implement advanced identification verification technology and provide State Police troopers with handheld computers for background checks. Recently, Massport announced that its State Police Anti-Terrorism Unit will be equipped with Heckler & Koch MP-5 semiautomatic weapons, designed for closed quarters use.