Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Security at the airport

I had to present my passport to the airline check-in counter, to the policeman guarding the door to the departure gate, and to the policeman guarded the automated gate for passport clearance, and to the scanner for the passport to the scanned. After that, I had to scan my fingerprint.

We introduced a multi-million dollar automated system for passport clearance. We now have to add another three levels of checking by people.

Many Singaporeans will insist that security is of high priority, so all these measures are for our own good. Really? Or is this another example of the mindless way to just follow procedure and instructions from above?

Another layer of check. I have to present my passport and ticket at the gate of the departure room.


  1. Recall last time when the new North-East Line rolled out, it was fully automated. High cost to setup. Prone to breakdown initially. Minister said periodic software update is necessary, this add in more maintenance cost. Should just stick to man-operation MRT, creates job opportunity. So not all high tech equipment is good in this sense.

  2. Instructions from above no doubt. There is a simple reason behind. Remember the immigration authorities had allowed a man to use his son's passport through to board the plane. Such an embarrasing incident requires many layers of control as some immigration officials, who out of boredom or otherwise could not tell the difference between an old man and a young man in the passport photograph.

  3. Not that I agree that everything should be automated...

    For the North-East Line, the automated driving do make for a smoother ride compared to manually driven trains. Sometimes North-East Line trains are manually driven, probably to give the operators practice in case the automated system breaks down, and I can tell. The comfort level is just a little bit different: you get slightly more uneven acceleration and abrupt braking.


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