Old Feb 10, 19, 9:14 am
  #52  
WillCAD
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
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Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
Agreed, and that was one of the points we were discussing earlier. The powers that be at MCO are already holding security program/response reviews in order to see what they can do to respond better and more efficiently in the future. Having a "stop the trams" program to respond to something like this is most likely on the table - whether it will be a part of the program moving forward, is anyones guess.

General consensus here seems to be that stopping the trams would be a good addition to the security plan for MCO, as well as other locations with similar designs.
Yes, and the thing that sickens me is that nobody ever thought of it before.

MCO's terminal has had this split, tram-connected landside/airside configuration since it opened in 1981. TSA has operated the two checkpoints since late 2001 or early 2002 - seventeen or more years. And in that time, despite the many breach situations that have occurred throughout the US, nobody at MCO TSA has thought, "Hey, we outta figure out a way to quickly shut off the trams and isolate the five buildings from each other if somebody bum rushes the checkpoint, or if there's an active shooter incident like at LAX, or if there's a bomb threat or a fire or any other kind of emergency in any one of the five buildings..."

Instead, TSA stood around after this incident and allowed the trams to keep running, leaving them with no choice but to do a terminal dump on two airside buildings. I believe I read that it was thirty minutes after the incident before someone at TSA decided, "Oops, unscreened pax got through the c/p, better screen 'em... wait, they're already in the airside buildings? Darny darn darn, I guess we better dump the terminals and delay a hundred flights! Abundance of caution! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11!" Had the TSM on site simply said, "Breach! Isolate the checkpoint!" and pushed a panic button that stopped the trams and returned any in transit to the landside building for rescreening, one hundred flights and thousands of travelers would not have needed to endure three hours of hell - right next to the scene of this unfortunate man's suicide.

They say that 9/11 was caused partly by a lack of imagination on our part; this is why TSA focuses on so many ludicrous theoretical threats like liquid explosives, sheet explosives, underwear bombs, lightsabers, and purses with embossed guns, because they are letting their imagination run wild with them, trying to imagine and interdict any and all theoretical and potential threats. But in the process, they're completely missing many proven, likely threats, such as guns and undisguised explosives, and also neglecting or ignoring the need for contingency plans for stuff that has ALREADY HAPPENED and will likely happen again, such as active shooters and checkpoint breaches.

I've often castigated TSA for their unconscionable (and in my view, un-Constitutional) violations of travelers' individual rights and personal freedoms. I've occasionally pontificated on isolated incidents of utter stupidity, and on the complete uselessness of so many of the activities in which the agency engages. But this one shows complete and utter incompetence at an extremely busy international tourist hub (number 12 in the US by emplanements in 2017). I am flabbergasted by the lack of a quick breach response, and dismayed to think that my security when I fly through MCO is in the hands of an agency with so little ability to do the most basic things it exists to do.
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