Just traveled through Syracuse airport. Upon exiting the terminal, travelers face these round-up (as in “cattle corral”) doors [pics above and after the jump]. They open automatically. Upon opening, several people are supposed to corral themselves inside and the door will automatically close and another opens on the other side. I was so appalled with the fatal implications in an emergency that I stopped a passing airport police officer to discuss. He said that they were there to allow people to leave the terminal while keeping people from entering. The sole purpose was so TSA does not have to post an officer there. I asked “what happens in an emergency, when people stampede the doors?” . . .
He replied that they will open automatically when the alarm sounds. I then asked what happens if there is an emergency that does not trigger an alarm such as a personal attack or shooting? He said that “they are video monitored so they will be opened if the door is stampeded.” “So they will have to wait for the doors to be opened while they are being crushed to death?” “They can use other exits as well” he replied.
All to prevent hiring one person. Don’t even get me started on those long, exit-less tunnels leading from place to place inside airports. Have you noticed that security measures in “gun-free” airports are turning them into death traps? [NB: the Syracuse airport death traps were mentioned in Matt in FL’s Daily Digest on November 17]