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calendar   Tuesday - July 24, 2007

A Pilot’s View

Sorry for the lack of posting these past few day...just buried with life right now.

But I did run across this article on Hot Air.

Did you ever wonder what a pilot thinks about the security of the airline system?  Dave Mackett is about to tell you.

As background, no conversation about airline security should take place without at least trying to conceive of the almost incomprehensible size of the air transportation system. The size of the system is the reason everything the public and policymakers “think” should work in airline security doesn’t, and the reason our entire approach to airline security is almost completely ineffective against a threat like Al Qaeda — and the reason security almost always fails when tested by covert testers, innocent civilians and, occasionally, persons with intent.

At this moment, there are roughly 5000 commercial airliners in the skies above you. There will be 28,000 flights today, and 840,000 in the next month — every month. The U.S. fleet consists of some 6000 aircraft — almost all of which will be parked unattended tonight at a public airport. We will carry almost 7 billion passengers this year, the number increasing to 10 billion by 2010, barring an exogenous event like another 9/11.

There is simply no deployable technology that has a prayer of keeping a motivated, prepared terrorist out of the system every time — even most times. TSA misses more than 90% of detectable weapons at passenger checkpoints in their own tests, and it is not their fault, because of the limitations of technology and the number of inspections they must conduct. This doesn’t count several classes of completely undetectable weapons like composite knives and liquid explosives.

What is TSA’s fault is their abject failure to embrace more robust approaches than high visibility inspections, and their accommodations to the Air Transport Association’s revenue interests at the expense of true security, while largely ignoring the recommendations of the front-line airline crews and air marshals who have no direct revenue agenda and are much more familiar with airline operations than are the bureaucrats (remember government ignoring the front-line FBI agents who tried to warn them about 9/11?). Deplorable amounts of money have been wasted on incomprehensible security strategies, while KISS [Keep It Simple, Stupid] methods proven to work have been ignored.

Go read the rest, and wonder why we still trust what little security we think we have to a bloated bureaucracy.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/24/2007 at 05:40 PM   
Filed Under: • PoliticsStoopid-PeopleTerrorists •  
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