The use of the polygraph at international airports in some countries like Israel and the U.S. is a preventive security measure that forms part of a broader approach to protect transportation systems against internal and external threats. In a world fraught with threats and risks, airport security has become an absolute priority. Among the most effective preventative measures is the use of the polygraph, a tool that, while controversial, has proven its value in protecting the international airports of countries like Israel and the United States, an example that other countries such as Spain should follow.

Context of Airport Security

Airports are critical points that require extreme security measures due to their vulnerability to illicit activities such as luggage theft, smuggling, and terrorism. The implementation of the polygraph in personnel selection and ongoing monitoring processes could be a crucial step towards a safer environment.

A Vital Weapon in the Fight Against Insecurity

The polygraph, also known as a lie detector, not only helps identify individuals with malicious intentions but also deters potential criminals from even attempting such actions. Its implementation in the airports of countries like Israel, long before it was in American airports, has been key to reducing the incidence of security incidents.

The North American Experience: A Model of Success

In the United States, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses the polygraph as part of its comprehensive strategy to ensure air transport security. Although not applied universally, its use in personnel selection and specific investigations has proven to be an invaluable tool.

Lessons Learned from Real Cases

Cases like that of the Chief Commissioner of Borders at the Madrid-Barajas Airport, sentenced to more than five years in prison for illicit enrichment, or the civil guards at customs control arrested for facilitating the illegal entry of cocaine in exchange for money, are clear examples of the corruption that can infiltrate airports.

The Need for an Impenetrable Shield in Spain

In Spain, the main airport has witnessed high-profile corruption cases, putting the security of thousands of passengers at risk. It is imperative that strong measures are taken to prevent similar situations from recurring.

The Polygraph: An Effective Solution

The implementation of the polygraph in the selection processes of airport personnel, especially those with access to the runway and aircraft, as well as catering staff, could be key to eradicating corruption and ensuring the safety of passengers.

A Comprehensive Approach to Security

The use of the polygraph alone is not the magic solution to all airport security problems. However, it is an invaluable tool that, combined with other security measures, can create an impenetrable shield against internal and external threats. To tackle cases of corruption like those evidenced at Madrid’s Adolfo Suarez Airport, Spain, the polygraph should be applied to the following personnel:

Personnel with access to sensitive areas:

Security staff: Those who have access to restricted areas such as the landing strip, hangars, and cargo areas.

Customs control personnel: Inspectors who check passengers, luggage, and goods.

Aircraft maintenance personnel: Technicians who perform work on airplanes.

Cleaning staff: Those responsible for the hygiene of the facilities, including sensitive areas.

Catering staff: Those who handle and prepare the food served on board.

Personnel with high-risk responsibilities:

Supervisors and managers: Those who have authority over other employees and make important decisions.

Purchasing and procurement staff: Responsible for buying goods and services for the airport.

Accounting and finance staff: Those who handle funds and carry out financial transactions.

Human resources personnel: Responsible for hiring, selecting, and evaluating staff.

Personnel with suspicious backgrounds or behavior:

Employees with a history of financial or legal problems.

Individuals who have displayed unusual behavior or sudden changes in their lifestyle.

Individuals who have expressed dissatisfaction with their job or the company.

Any person who has been pointed out by other employees for suspicious behaviors.

Towards the Future

The introduction of security technologies like the polygraph should be transparent and accompanied by an informed public debate. Collaboration between security agencies, privacy experts, and the public is crucial for developing policies that respect both security and civil rights.


Airport security is not a luxury, it is a necessity. The use of the polygraph, as has been demonstrated in countries like Israel and the United States, can be a fundamental tool to strengthen security and protect passengers from the risks that lurk in today’s world. It is time for Spain and other CEE countries to take strong measures to secure their airports and ensure the peace of mind of those who travel through them.