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How security screening has changed over the years

PASSENGERS arriving to Dublin Airport in the late 1970s and 1980s were subjected to a very different security regime.

X-ray machines, chemical-detecting devices and sniffer dogs were at the entrance to the airport, checking passengers to confirm they were not carrying weapons or bombs which could be used in a hijacking or terrorist attack.

The measures were not uncommon across European airports. Throughout the 1990s, security became less visible, but all that changed after September 11, 2001, when al-Qa'ida launched attacks in Washington and New York.

New rules introduced in the US and EU after the attacks required passengers to walk through security in their stockinged feet. From 2006, people had to carry liquids in small containers inside a plastic bag.

Biometric passports -- which use an embedded microchip identifying facial measurements and other information including fingerprints -- have been introduced since. Advanced imaging technology machines have also been developed which can peer beneath clothing.

Irish Independent