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Cargo Plane Bomb Plot Triggers New Aviation Security Proposals

The recent discovery of explosive devices on two freight planes has prompted a major review of aviation security regulations, sparking a debate over the best ways to keep airports and their passengers safe.

UK Home Secretary Theresa May has announced new aviation security checks intended to curb the threat of terrorism on cargo aeroplanes after two explosive PETN cartridges were discovered on a flight from Yemen to Chicago.

The government’s response has been revealed as more details continue to emerge about the aviation security threat posed by the thwarted bomb plot.

“We are in a constant battle with the terrorists. They are always looking for another way, another innovative way, in which they can try to get around our defences,” said the home secretary in the House of Commons.

The bombs contained 300 and 400 grams respectively of the PETN explosive and were built into computer toner cartridges. Under the new UK measures, passengers will not be permitted to carry toner cartridges weighing over 500g in their hand baggage.

Just days before news of last week’s foiled terrorist attack emerged, BA boss Martin Broughton argued that some US aviation security rules were too strict, criticizing regulations requiring passengers on US-bound flights to remove their shoes before boarding.

He said: “America does not do internally a lot of the things they demand that we do. We shouldn’t stand for that. We should say ‘we’ll only do things which we consider to be essential and that you Americans also consider essential’.”

Debates surrounding the balance between safety and customer service will be a key theme of the Defence IQ Aviation Security 2011 conference, taking place at London’s America Square Conference Centre on 22nd and 23rd February 2011.

Professionals in the field of aviation security will be attending the conference to hear experts on the subject talk about topics including the latest cargo screening technologies, strategies to achieve international data sharing cooperation, and the benefits of surveillance developments such as facial recognition technology.

As the full story of last week’s attempted terror attack continues to unfold,  Aviation Security 2011 aims to address concerns that security policies lack coherence, by advising professionals on strategies for maximising efficiency. To get involved in Aviation Security 2011, please visit or email


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