Matt D
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FAA, US Gov't, Pax: You Lost

Sun Sep 23, 2001 9:52 pm

I have to be very frank here and state that even though war is all but imminent (which I still must support in spite of what I'm about to say), the reality is that whoever was responsible for last week’s terrorists attacks can already lay claim to victory.

Case in point: Our economy has been brought to its knees. The airline industry is fast heading towards insolvency, and is already being “bailed out”. People are living in fear and are afraid to travel. Liberties we once took for granted have vanished in the twinkling of an eye. So by any objective standard, the terrorists won. I would also like to add parenthetically that no matter how many bombs you drop, the long term effects will be minimal; most of these Muslim extremists not only have no fear of death, but they also see it as the “gateway to paradise”. The only other option would be to support a global “holocaust” of all Arabs and Muslims. Needless to say, that is an unacceptable option, to say the least.

So to the FAA and the US Government: What are you going to do? Quite frankly, I’m disgusted not only at these heinous acts against our country, but also in the abysmal, knee jerk reaction in how you handled it. That is to say nothing of your allowing the airlines to implement security systems that were “the most cost effective” that allowed this mess to happen in the first place. The fact that you are also talking out of both sides of your mouth also leaves me with much doubt as to your credibility and sincerity. On one hand, you are saying that we should revert to “business as usual”, and the other you are saying that we must make certain “sacrifices”. Well what are these sacrifices that you are referring to? We have to arrive at the airport 4 hours before departure. We cannot park our cars at the airport; we have to be bussed in. We cannot drop off friends/family, nor can we meet them to pick them up. You have stolen a lifelong hobby away from me; namely just going to the gates and watching the planes come and go, and taking pictures. According to you, I now constitute a threat to our safety. We are subject to random shakedowns in the terminal by US Marshals and airport police. Our travel habits are subject to being tracked and us being profiled. As a result of these “sacrifices”, the entire travel infrastructure is collapsing like a house of cards. These means that at least half a dozen airlines will likely go under (one already has, and another is expected to throw in the towel any day now), and innumerable thousands of people will be out of work. This will also spill over into the hotel, car rental, and other auxiliary travel industries as well. Guess who will have to pay for their unemployment compensation? Guess who’s paying for this spur of the moment bailout? That’s right, me, the taxpayer. With all of this chaos, and cutbacks going on, many low fare airlines will not be able to survive. These airlines were what kept the majors “in check” and fares low. With all of this competition suddenly abolished, what do you think it’s going to do to airfares from the majors? That’s right, they’re going to skyrocket. This will only further aggravate this vicious cycle; higher fares will mean still fewer travelers, which will still further damage an already precarious industry.

So I ask you again, what are you going to do? Do you think the public is willing to accept these new measures you’ve thrust upon us? Judging from what I’ve seen and read, the answer is no. While I understand and respect the need for security, it is your problem to figure out how to implement high security commensurate with minimal inconvenience to the American public. The system we had in place before COULD’VE worked, had it been implemented properly and run by competent staff. These terrorists played by the rules, and yet still pulled off their abominable deeds. Unless everyone is ordered shackled and blindfolded in the planes before departure, there is ALWAYS a certain element of risk. There will always be ways to circumvent the “system”. If a person, or persons has targeted an airplane or airline for destruction, it’s going to happen if they try hard enough. You can try and make it harder for them, but like putting an alarm on your automobile, it’s only an impediment, and not an outright guarantee of safety. The reality is that short of an outright ban on air travel, NO amount of security measures will ever be enough to trump sheer human will power and determination. Despite last week’s events, air travel is STILL BY FAR, the safest means of transportation. And please don’t make the comparison to European and Middle East airports, because that is a different culture over there. Those people have willingly accepted submission and “safety” in lieu of convenience. But the reality is, that those concepts simply will not fly (pardon the pun) with Americans. If you want to maintain the militant and draconian measures that you have, do you think that us, the taxpayers will be willing to pay for all of the inevitable unemployment as a result for any length of time? The mid-term elections are just over a year away. Do YOU still want to keep your job?

Well? We’re waiting.
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RE: FAA, US Gov't, Pax: You Lost

Sun Sep 23, 2001 11:54 pm

I said it once and I'll say it again, you need real law enforcement at airports.

Either the United States Coast Guard, State Police, or local police.

When you need a heart transplant in the next 2 hours do you shop around and the find “the most cost effective” doctor?

Same thing with airport security.

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RE: FAA, US Gov't, Pax: You Lost

Mon Sep 24, 2001 5:02 am

Mike Boyd (whom I know a lot of folks on this fourm love to hate) shares your sentiments.

Ineptitude at DOT Giving Terrorists Another Big Victory


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RE: FAA, US Gov't, Pax: You Lost

Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:06 am

Well, i agree in theory.

You know, those terrorists did not violate any laws of this country....until they attacked the crew. Nope. They got flight training thru legitimate schools. They had knives, but they were 100% legal. They had the proper paid tickets. They carried no contraband or weapons on board.

The FAA shares some blame for alloying this to happen.
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
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Oh Yes They Did Violate Laws...

Mon Sep 24, 2001 7:50 am's called "Conspiracy to Commit Air Piracy"- and, if intelligence services had ferreted it out in time, they could and would all have been prosecuted.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
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RE: Oh Yes They Did Violate Laws...

Mon Sep 24, 2001 9:41 pm

What is now happening at US domestic airports is an understandable knee-jerk reaction, but it will settle down to the levels of security seen in Europe for some 30 years.
Which in the UK at least, is NOT draconian, enthusiants can happily carry on with their hobby. Security states are upped in response to an incident or specific intelligence, but it's not police-state stuff.
I agree that the FAA screwed up mightily, time to remove the 'looking after the commercial interests of US airlines' from their mission.
I'm sorry to say the history and geography of the US bred complacency in regard to airline security, which the terrorists exploited on sept 11th, but you cannot say for certain that it could not have happened elsewhere.

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RE: FAA, US Gov't, Pax: You Lost

Mon Sep 24, 2001 10:05 pm

Absolutely the terrorists won.

They won a battle. But the war could be much more interesting. I don't think they have a prayer as long as we have the stomach to do what is needed to be done.

NYTimes today reports on Democrats proposals to federalize airport security, which so far the Republicans aren't opposing. Estimated cost: 1.8 billion a year.
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RE: FAA, US Gov't, Pax: You Lost

Mon Sep 24, 2001 10:15 pm

that's 1.8 billion that will come from taxes and be saved on airline tickets.
Given that more people pay taxes than there are flying, people that do fly should see ticketprices decreasing (but maybe face extra taxation on the ticket to cover the 1.8B).
I wish I were flying
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RE: FAA, US Gov't, Pax: You Lost

Tue Sep 25, 2001 4:57 pm

MattD: I couldn't agree more. Although it's not always the "most cost effective" systems that matter, it makes me think it's the rules that were stupid (knives with blades up to 4" permitted) and the incompetent and indifferent security staff.
I know this is a different story but here in MLA (Europe), the equipment seems good enough but the security people just don't really care what's going on.
Many of the precautions being taken now are in my opinion useless. In MLA, they partitioned off the section of the departure lounge closest to the check-in desks and put guards at the entrance to this section. Couldn't these people have been employed in a better way?
In my opinion, all that is needed is competent and thorougher staff, the systems are allright (well maybe explosion detection could be added to carry-on baggage screening). We need some new rules as to what is classified as a weapon and what isn't and everything will be back to normal, with only minimal inconvenience to passengers.
Just my two cents.

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