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Opinion

The challenge of COVID-19 to aviation security

By Mark Salter      

The novel coronavirus is changing our appreciation of risk; it has flipped the question of the global aviation sector from surge capacity to viability; and it demonstrates the levels of cultural shift and honest public discussion needed in Canada.

The coronavirus is going to require the same quotidian change in everyday security culture—everywhere from the supermarket, to the airport. Here is the opportunity to roll-out touchless technologies for identity verification and security clearance, get serious about mm wave scanners and other 'at-a-distance' detectors, and rethink queue management and thus space requirements, writes Mark Salter. Photograph courtesy Pexels.com

OTTAWA—Viruses fly all the time, but rarely have they been as deadly as COVID-19, which will change aviation security as much as 9/11. The novel coronavirus is changing our appreciation of risk; it has flipped the question of the global aviation sector from surge capacity to viability; and it demonstrates the levels of cultural shift and honest public discussion needed in Canada. The government also needs to pay special attention to the North, a vulnerable population that has been dependent on air routes for medical travel, food, and other essentials.

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