FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - President proposes increasing taxes on air tickets to pay for security
Old Jan 28, 05, 11:05 am
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 8,386
I don't know what the answer is. However, seems to me that the time is past due for a thorough cost-benefit analysis be done on TSA. This should include manpower surveys to determine if airports are properly staffed and, more importantly, using them efficiently.

This also should include a serious look at the benefits, if any, of paying for advanced technologies. The walk-thru puffer that everyone seems to advocate may not be necessary if the same results could be accomplished by ETD sampling of hands, shoes and belt buckles as part of secondary screening. These "puffers" are quite expensive, and if the only return we are getting from them is the convenience of people not having to remove shoes or coats, then we're not being very smart about this. I'm just posing this as a thought; it could very well be that the "puffers" are more effective/accurate than the ETD methodology I suggested. My point is: I don't think anyone has done a detailed study. We're just throwing money at the issue to sooth public outcries. That's not very smart; however, it's a typical bureaucratic response.

More importantly, an analysis needs to be conducted on the quality of the x-ray machines being used at checkpoints. X-ray machines are the singlemost vulnerable point not only because of the outdated technology, but also because it relies on human interpretation of images. I personally think TSA should spend money on improved x-ray technology before it spends a dime on these "puffers." The risk of erroneously mistaking an x-ray image as a non-threat due to inferior technology (as opposed to poor human judgment) far outweighs the convenience of people keeping their shoes and coats on.

For the usual suspects: I do not oppose fielding advanced technologies. I'm just saying that if the money is tight, then let's first see if we're spending it wisely.
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