Security & Complacency

Old Feb 17, 11, 7:23 pm
  #1  
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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 8:38 am
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Old Feb 17, 11, 7:30 pm
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I agree with everything you posted.

We should all travel naked and carrying nothing. Anything less and we're all gonna die.


nothing you posted would stop someone intent on mayhem.
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Old Feb 17, 11, 7:34 pm
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I think the USA should just seal it's borders to everyone and wrap everyone left inside the borders in bubble-wrap, niiiice and safe.....
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Old Feb 17, 11, 7:46 pm
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And after all of that.

We are all still going to die anyway.


I don't want to live my life trembling in fear of something that is inevitable.
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Old Feb 17, 11, 7:47 pm
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Originally Posted by idriveuride View Post
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 and stronger 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 hijackings and flat out forgot that just 10-20 years earlier hijackings and bombings happened just about every week. Yet, security remains reactive.

I remember back in the mid-90's working front line at airports and refusing to transport the 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.

Immediate "simple" efforts that TSA should put in place:

1. Separating checkpoints to eliminate cross over over baggage and screening. Passengers should accompany their own luggage and be within a dedicated team of screener.

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

3. Similar to #1, 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. In addition, the person who is assigned to read the imaging technology should be better isolated to reduce distraction and eliminate identification.

4. Eliminate "socializing" on the clock. The chatter that goes on at the screening checkpoints would bot 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. Being that we currently had 20 agents running 2-3 checkpoints, these procedures could effectively be operated with existing resources.

Expanded presence tom the point a person enters the terminal, adoption of broader training and identification methods. This will not eliminate challenges; but, it would substantially reduce them. Randomly screen, help with directions, be proactive, positive and AWARE.

Likely the single strongest element to secure of airports will have the greatest resistence, limit carry on luggage. Mandating one carry-on would make the greatest single impact to security.

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.
Until those doing the screening (and everyone in their management chain) are at all times:
- of the highest caliber,
- highly qualified and proof of said qualifications produced,
- trainable and properly trained on an ongoing basis,
- tested regularly and required to pass,
- held accountable for what they do and doing what they shouldn't,
- are trustworthy and can be trusted,
- are not criminals or those with criminal leanings,
- are not susceptible to bribe or threat,
- are required to be professionals who act in a professional manner at all times

And until:
- everyone entering the sterile area is ALWAYS screened in the same fashion as passengers
- there is a zero tolerance for any rule breaking, law breaking, etc,

what you suggest is not only not possible without abuse but it is also pointless. On second thought, they will probably try and it will be an even bigger fiasco than what is happening now.

Last edited by Mimi111; Feb 18, 11 at 11:04 am
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Old Feb 17, 11, 8:44 pm
  #6  
 
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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.
As someone who is from 'over there' I am very thankful that things are not what they are in your 'over here'.

There were many instances of terror for many years before 9/11, and there have been since. Fortunately reactions measured risk for the most part. There were advancements in security without taking things too far. The children of Europe of the 1970's and 1980's grew up with bombings and acts of violence and terrorism (as do people all over the world)

The world didn't change on 9/11. It was a horrible act, and the loss of life should not be forgotten nor diminished, but using 9/11 as an excuse isn't right either. Look at VM-RHD's signature to gain some perspective.

Originally Posted by oboshoe View Post
And after all of that.

We are all still going to die anyway.


I don't want to live my life trembling in fear of something that is inevitable.
Bravo.
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Old Feb 17, 11, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by idriveuride View Post
2. Install a wall at the checkpoints so that passengers in line cannot see the actual screening process (like FRA and parts of AMS), this reduces the ability to "scout", establish patterns and track/identify employees.
No, just no.

This is Prison Air.
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Old Feb 17, 11, 9:02 pm
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The folks in New Hampshire have the right idea. Their license plates read:

LIVE FREE OR DIE

I fully agree.^
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Old Feb 17, 11, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Cartoon Peril View Post
No, just no.

This is Prison Air.
^^^^^

If I ever WERE going to have considered flying again, this single change would prevent me all by itself. Why should someone who is zero risk be forced through maximum humiliation? I'd rather walk.
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Old Feb 17, 11, 9:06 pm
  #10  
 
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There is no such thing as perfect security.

Last edited by Cartoon Peril; Feb 17, 11 at 9:08 pm Reason: double post, sorry.
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Old Feb 17, 11, 9:08 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by idriveuride View Post
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 and stronger 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 hijackings and flat out forgot that just 10-20 years earlier hijackings and bombings happened just about every week. Yet, security remains reactive.

I remember back in the mid-90's working front line at airports and refusing to transport the 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.

Immediate "simple" efforts that TSA should put in place:

1. Separating checkpoints to eliminate cross over over baggage and screening. Passengers should accompany their own luggage and be within a dedicated team of screener.

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

3. Similar to #1, 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. In addition, the person who is assigned to read the imaging technology should be better isolated to reduce distraction and eliminate identification.

4. Eliminate "socializing" on the clock. The chatter that goes on at the screening checkpoints would bot 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. Being that we currently had 20 agents running 2-3 checkpoints, these procedures could effectively be operated with existing resources.

Expanded presence tom the point a person enters the terminal, adoption of broader training and identification methods. This will not eliminate challenges; but, it would substantially reduce them. Randomly screen, help with directions, be proactive, positive and AWARE.

Likely the single strongest element to secure of airports will have the greatest resistence, limit carry on luggage. Mandating one carry-on would make the greatest single impact to security.

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.
Brilliant post but you forgot:

6. Change our nation's name to USSR.

7. Burn the Constitution.

8. Add a trillion dollars to our debt for an agency that has caught ZERO terrorists.

9. Watch in horror as a truck bomber destroys a building just outside the airport perimeter.
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Old Feb 17, 11, 9:16 pm
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And we should do this at all shopping malls, office buildings, restaurants, theme parks, sports arenas, concert venues, libraries, barber shops, grocery stores, gas stations, car washes, parking lots, crosswalks, and anywhere else more than one person tend to be present at any given time.

I know this is FT, but airports are just as 'soft' as anywhere else we may find ourselves in any given day.

Live free or die trying!
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Old Feb 17, 11, 9:19 pm
  #13  
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Love It!

Love the comments

Ultimately, the best we can do protect the freedoms we ALL enjoy, learn and express tolerance and project our nation as a place to dream, not a place to damage.
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Old Feb 17, 11, 10:14 pm
  #14  
 
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I think the fundamental purpose of travel security is to make it possible not to change anything we do in foreign affairs. And it is an old story in civilized history that the desire to "protect vital interests" on a global basis ends up costing freedom at home. When Rome ceased to be a republic, it became much more effective at imperialism. But it really was the sea change that assured the nation would become more corrupt and less free. Everyone likes to point out the glorious things done by Augustus. But just look at the history of the caesars that followed him. The justification of turning Rome into an absolutist state came to look pretty hollow under Caligular and Nero.

America should really do some soul searching. We have made global power a "vital interest". We're about as far from the America Washington created as we can be. And predictably, we are sacrificing bit by bit the only things that made an American experiment justified. For this we stole a continent? Just to give the world another Rome?
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Old Feb 17, 11, 10:21 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by idriveuride View Post
With the recent extremely sad events in Moscow we should pause and support security initiatives of our nation.
...

Let the flaming begin;
Not sure whether your post was serious or not, but, uhh, okay...
Originally Posted by idriveuride View Post
Likely the single strongest element to secure of airports will have the greatest resistence, limit carry on luggage. Mandating one carry-on would make the greatest single impact to security.
Bad Guy (*packing for his trip*): Hmm, should I take the explosives or my laptop? Explosives or a change of clothes? Explosives or the new Stieg Larsson? Darn this new "1-carry-on" policy! (*Abandons suicide plot because he wouldn't be able to take his iPad.*)

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