Professor Brian Havel’s op-ed piece How Did Stolen Passports Get Through? headlines the opinion page of on CNN.com. Havel says “…it is not a surprise that at least two people were able to board Malaysia Flight 370 with stolen passports,” noting that while more than half of all trans-border passenger movements take place at airports, passenger treatment in airport security lines is very much dependent on local regulations and practices.
“Nations continue to have their own ideas about how to monitor travelers, how security information should be shared and to what extent identity information should be the subject of strong privacy protection,” Professor Havel adds, urging nations that have developed their own security databases to cross-check them with existing international systems such as Interpol. He concludes that the time has come for global coordination and standardized procedures for processing travel documentation.
Brian F. Havel is the director of the International Aviation Law Institute at the College of Law.