Leeds Beckett University
PassengerExperienceOfSecurityAtUKAirportsAsAResultOfTerrorism-WOOD__Redacted.pdf (2.76 MB)

Passenger experience of security at UK airports as a result of terrorism

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posted on 2022-11-04, 13:40 authored by Stephen WoodStephen Wood

9/11 created a new paradigm of international terrorism that consequently required a new global risk assessment of terrorism. 9/11 transformed airport security checks for citizens internationally and, for some minorities, these checks have had an impact on their experience of the security process. The West responded to 9/11 at home by creating national legislation to counter terrorism. The UK initially focused on trying to deport suspicious foreign nationals who had the slightest involvement with terrorism, but following 7/7 the government’s focus was to counter terrorism nationally amongst British Muslims extremists consequently impacting at times disproportionately on local Muslim communities. 

This research is concerned with the effects of security changes since 9/11 at UK airports on the young passenger experience. Airport security is twofold, when embarking on a journey; the first phase is the electronic screening of passengers by airport security. The second is the potential of passengers being stopped and screened by the police. When disembarking, passengers are subject to immigration checks and possible police checks. In both cases of the police checks, Schedule 7 is the legal means to determine whether the passenger is a terrorist. 

University students aged 16-25 were surveyed to obtain data. A number of university students have either carried out terrorist attacks or supported such causes and most terrorists since 9/11 have been aged 16-35. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (CTSA 2015) now imposes duties on universities to prevent radicalisation; it also strengthens security arrangements in relation to the border and to aviation. 

There are three hypotheses in this research that will test the research questions. The first is whether it takes younger respondents longer to travel through security, and if so why. The second hypothesis asks whether in the opinion of these respondents all passengers are treated the same or should be. Finally, whether passengers agree to the high level of security at UK airports. The findings of these hypotheses will show that first, young respondents in this research did take longer to go through airport security and the reasons why will be explained. Second, that whilst there is overwhelming support for airport security, there is a significant difference in how the white and non-white respondents in this research perceive airport security and how some aspects of security, such as confiscation of liquids, are unpopular and contribute to delays.


Qualification name

  • PhD


Gardiner, Simon

Awarding Institution

Leeds Beckett University

Completion Date


Qualification level

  • Doctoral


  • eng


Leeds Beckett University

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