Fast Draw – Cost of Routines and Non-Adherence to Procedures

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Two cases that occured in Israel recently are not connected to each other at first sight, however, they do.A jounalist using a fake identity managed to penetrate the strerile area of Ben Gurion Airport and was allowed free access to all the planes there; A Jordanian citizen crossed the border from Jordan and tried to take control of a car driven by a woman. The electronic fence signaled an alert, however no soldiers were sent there.

Two cases. In both of them – the routine has won.

According to TV Channel 2 inquiry, the journalist David Suliman arrived at the human resources department of Maman cargo and air transport company, that provides cleaning services on board of the airplanes, presenting a friend’s identity card, whose photo does not even resemble him.

Within minutes he was recruited to one of the most sensitive perimeters in Israel, receiving a security clearance and an identitiy tag with his friend’s name.

To his suprise, he found out that as a cleaning worker he had an unrestricted access to the airplanes at the airport, including to the most sterile areas.

From his second work day he was already granted a formal and permanent permit to the aerial perimeter, with no security check-ups. He even managed to smuggle cigarettes and cans as bombs.

The question is how come a journalist with a fake identity gets into the sterile area so easily?

A similar failure enabled the Jordanian citizen’s infiltration into Israel. In spite of the fence alert – none of the commanders thought that they should send soldiers there in order to check what happened.

There is only one conclusion from those two severe cases – routines and non-adherence to procedures may cause disasters, especially at places where there must be no compromise.

The Airport Authority said they uncovered the case two days after the journlist got the permit, in any case they promised to increase enforcement.

Maman cargo services announced they will draw conclusions in order to prevent such conduct in the future.

The Airport Authorities referred the case to police investigation. In their place, I would have sent the journalist a huge bunch of flowers. He uncovered an enormous failure just where it shouldn’t have occured.



Arie Egozi iHLS editor-in-chief
Arie Egozi
iHLS editor-in-chief