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How Safe Are We In The Sky?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 4:48 am

The Following Thread is an Opinion and should be reguarded as such. Please feel free to comment on my view as you wish.

Following The wake of September 11th, several glaring airport and airline safety issues have raised the question, is air travel in the United States safe from terrorists? That answer is sadly no, in fact several incidents after 9/11 bring the question to the front page nearly weekly.
“Airport security is somewhat improved, thanks to the introduction of meaningful training and performance standards for passenger screeners—something which could have been done without creating a huge new 60,000-person federal workforce. The much-vaunted “100 percent checked baggage screening” supposedly implemented as of last December 31st by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a joke.” Says Robert Poole Jr. Director of Transportation studies at the Reason Public Policy Institute.
Poole is right, during the time of the TSA’s control of airport security several alarming incidents have occurred:
One most notably is the case of Richard Reid:
Three months after 9/11, Reid attempted to blow an American Airlines trans-Atlantic flight out of the sky with explosives hidden in his shoe. The Paris to Miami flight was at a cruising altitude of 36,000 feet when Reid attempted to light hisexplosive laden shoe on fire with a match. Flight attendants and as many as 9 passengers wrestled Reid to the floor and subdued the British born man until the flight landed in Boston.
“This shocking case, is proof that what we are doing is simply not enough,” Says Poole. “At many large airports, all checked bags are not being inspected for explosives; they are simply being matched up with passengers, which only ensures that a suicidal terrorist flies on the same plane as his suitcase bomb.
Even at airports where every checked bag is checked for explosives, most carry-on bags are not. They are simply passed through automated X-ray machines, which the TSA dubs inadequate for inspecting checked bags for explosives.
The majority of airports are meeting the standards using “explosive trace detection,” the little swab run over (in most cases) the outside of a suitcase. But that method was never intended for large-scale screening, and has never been certified by the TSA for that purpose.”
July 4th 2002, a busy holiday at Los Angeles International Airport turns deadly when a gun wielding man guns down 4 people standing at an EL AL airlines ticket counter. “This is one of just a few examples of the TSAs inability to handle security.” says Poole.
Since the LAX incident City police have patrolled our nation’s airports, providing some much needed help to the already over-worked TSA.
However, more still needs to be done, more then what has already been done to insure the safety in the sky. 9/11 has taught us some valuable lessons, but we still must be vigilant especially in the air.

Richard Ried was scentenced to Life in prison earlier this year.

Please Post your thoughts.
GalvanAir now Serving!
Matt D
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

RE: How Safe Are We In The Sky?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 5:00 am

What do you suggest we do? Unless we permanently ground all airliners, some element of risk will always exist. IMO, I feel that we need to spend a little more energy trying to eliminate the desire to commit terrorism as opposed to simply combatting the methods. That means being a little more selective on who we allow in the country. That means doing what no politician dare say: PROFILING. That means finding out why they want to blow up the planes in the first place.

What is it going to come to? Leading people blindfolded down the jetway and chaining them in shackles to their seats?

Sure it will be pretty much terrorism proof, but who's going to fly that way? Treating people like prisoners in the name of fighting terrorsim is a little bit counterproductive, don't you think?
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RE: How Safe Are We In The Sky?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:19 am

Flying is hundreds of times more safe than driving or even taking a leisurely walk outside. You know the old addage you're far more likely to be killed in a car crash on your way to the airport than at any point after arriving at the airport and departing on a flight.
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RE: How Safe Are We In The Sky?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:32 am

security is partly prevention and partly deterrance, especially given the amount of time and resources required to implement levels of security desired after 9/11. some elements of security are preventative - passenger and luggage screening, secure cockpits - and some are mean to deter threats - random searches, air marshals. no one doubts that more needs to be done to increase the preventative measures, but only so much can be accomplished in the time that has passed. it should be noted that there hasn't been a successful aviation related terrorist act in the US since 9/11, whether because the system has foiled attempts or has deterred them from being likely to succeed.

as far as the el al ticket counter incident, i'm not sure how much that is an issue with the TSA. that occurred at the ticket counter, outside of the security screening perimeter. the individual could have just as easily fired shots at a shopping mall.

and yes, you are more likely to die in a car crash or from the flu than from a plane crash or even a terrorist attack. though while on average 100 people die each day in the u.s. in car accidents, it isnt in a single, widely reported accident, so the perception of flying presenting a greater danger prevails.

wear your seat belt and get your flu shot.

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RE: How Safe Are We In The Sky?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:35 am

Agreed; we should spend more money on eliminating the motivation to commit terrorism.

PROFILING. That means finding out why they want to blow up the planes in the first place.

I thought profiling meant scrutinizing people for the way they look (Arab, etc.)

Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
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RE: How Safe Are We In The Sky?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:53 am

Quoting a great movie:

On a long enough timeline, the survivability rate for everyone drops to zero
I mean, for the right price I’ll fight a lion. - Mike Tyson
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Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am

RE: How Safe Are We In The Sky?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:53 am

I agree totally with Matt D and YOW. All we have to do is just to eliminate criminality in the air, on the ground and on the sea.

We can eliminate the consequences by retreating to a nuclear safe bunker.

Or we can enjoy the life in the free world taking a risk.

And we can reduce that risk by taking reasonable precautions.

Matt mentioned profiling. It's probably the most cost-effective way to go. Hopefully it is used much more, and in much more intelligent ways than the authorities dare to tell us.

Happy landing, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
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Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:48 pm

RE: How Safe Are We In The Sky?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:55 am

Profiling is a solution and DOES NOT meaning scrutinizing on the way they look. There is a profile we are just not allowed to refer to it.


Third - airports are meant for air travel not reunions. People who do not have a ticket should not be permitted in the building period. Say you goodbyes on the curb or at home.

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