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The day before yesterday I had a flight from a non-Schengen country to a Schengen destination with transfer at Helsinki Airport. I was surprised to see that after arrival in Helsinki all passengers who wanted to transfer to another flight not only had to go through passport control - which seems understandable - but also through security control before getting to the departure gates. If you arrive by plane, you have had to go through security control at the airport where you started your journey, so why do you have to go through security control once more before you get on your second flight?

This matters especially when you have bought liquid goods at the original airport within security control area, meaning that you can take it with you in the plane, but at security control of the transfer airport it falls under the regulation for liquids (under 100 ml, separately packed and so on) for your second flight.

So what is the sense of this additional security control?

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The effectiveness of security screening at airports around the world is variable. If the Finnish authorities permit passengers arriving from any foreign airport to enter the secure zone without screening, then they are dependent entirely on these foreign airports to protect the security of flights departing from Helsinki. And furthermore, even if the security of airports with flights direct to Helsinki could be assured, what about the airports which connect to those airports? Clearly, this is an unacceptable security risk.

In general, Schengen airports will only allow passengers screened in other Schengen countries in to their secure zone without being screened again. All other passengers pass through security again in order to ensure that the screening meets some minimum standard.

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    Which is of course just a security theater at the end of the day, just like most of airport security these days. – JonathanReez Oct 15 '18 at 17:30
  • They screen again just because they can. – cHiEf Immigration vIoLaTer Oct 15 '18 at 18:03
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    I don't know about Helsinki specifically, but in Copenhagen passengers arriving from at least the UK and USA are definitely let into the sterile departure area without a second security check. I seem to remember experiencing that in Keflavik, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Paris, too. – Henning Makholm Oct 15 '18 at 18:31
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    Your last statement is not exactly true. See ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/security/… – ach Oct 15 '18 at 19:05
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    However, a particular airport may be laid out in such a way that a second inspection is inevitable. An example is Prague, where security theater is played at very gates; it is simply impossible to separate passengers in transit from those coming from outside. – ach Oct 15 '18 at 19:08

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