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Old Feb 17, 11, 8:23 pm
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Big Sky Country
Programs: CO PLT, DL GM, Hertz President Circle, SPG Platinum
Posts: 450
Security & Complacency

With the recent extremely sad events in Moscow we should pause and support security initiatives of our nation. We forget that events such as these have happened MANY times throughout the world .. Rome, Vienna, Madrid, Glasgow immediately come to mind. Yet it remains shocking as it is "over there", not here.

We should be proactive (versus reactive) and develop a broader, stronger, kinder perimeter strategy to protect our airports and both domestic travelers and visitors to our nation.

Let the flaming begin; but, there needs to be a more focused approach to our security. Security must balance, not take a back seat, to convenience. Yes, travel is a business and the fiscal interest of air carriers, airports, vendors, passengers and business should be accountable; but, we need to learn from history. Incidents cost $$$$ millions and get on CNN, which is why there will always be incidents.

Recent events remind me how we were so "shocked" about 9/11 hijacking, forgeting that just 10-20 years earlier hijackings and bombings happened just about every week. Yet, security remains reactive not proactive.

I remember back in the mid-90's working front line at airports, refusing to transport work materials of several construction company employees and tradesmith. Eventually it was brought to my attention that it was acceptable to transport accelerants, torches, bits and get this . . . box cutters as carry on.

I was simply amazed as just 10 years earlier, while a Flight Attendant at TWA, if we saw a loose screw in the lav during a pre-flight inspection, the entire plane was stripped apart. I was in ATH on the 747SP when our 727 From FCO enroute to ATH was bombed.

We get complacent and elements of society will continue to capitalize on this.

"Simple" efforts that TSA could put in place:

1. Install a wall at the checkpoints so that passengers in line cannot see the actual screening process (like FRA and parts of AMS), this increases privacy and comfort while reducing the ability to "scout", establish patterns and track/identify employees. This also increase the ability of screeners to focus on the people in their zone.

2. Screening should be compartmentalized to teams. One line is walled/separated from the next and isolated so that the 3 (only 3) TSA personnel can focus on the passengers in their "zone". Any more that 3 agents only serves to distract the process. Eliminate the cross over of lines and maintain passengers luggage at all times.

3. The agent assigned to read the imaging technology should be better isolated to reduce distraction. A curtain or compartment which you see at some airports would be adequate.

4. Eliminate "socializing" on the clock. The chatter that goes on at the screening checkpoints would not be tolerated in any workplace and distracts from the mission. I have been through dozens of checkpoints where it was more like hazing at a frat house that securing our airports and country.

5. Place "roaming" agents in the terminal building. Extend the security presence beyond the checkpoint where the exposure to challenge or breach could be as small as 30-60 seconds. With 20 agents running 2-3 checkpoints, these procedures could effectively be operated with a reduction of costs or within existing resources. Adopt broader training and identification methods, randomly screen, help with directions, be proactive, positive and AWARE.

Further efforts should address the security of our terminals and discussion of bringing security to the door should begin in earnest. Sterile terminals should have been a project 2000, not a project 2020.

It is WAY too easy to breach our present system. Combine this with our mentality to eventually develop complacency and further erode efforts as they become inconvenient and you begin to see the nexus of a new 9/11.

Not being a killjoy . . . just reflecting on the pattern of history.

Most, if not everyone, reading this likely complains about shoes, laptops, sweaters, water bottles and all the procedures currently in place without taking pause that the clock is ticking toward the next "CNN" moment.

Last edited by idriveuride; Feb 18, 11 at 9:38 am
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