Long Air Travel Lines – Cost to Airlines, Government and US

Posted on December 29, 2009

It is reported that full body scanners that DO scan for the material used in the December 25th thwarted bombing attack do now exist. [topix.com]  It is to be  hoped that these kinds of machines with this level of effectiveness will be chosen and not more of what is out there today.  Either way, guess who will be paying the additional cost for this both for the airlines and the government?

Opposition to their use because of privacy issues has to be overcome. No one wants to be in line behind a loud, complaining traveler; worse, no one wants a flight delayed or canceled because of it – especially when many security professionals feel that full body searches are even more effective.

But is there time to evaluate the different varieties and to get requisitions approved in order to get them into service?  Undoubtedly a “pass” will be given to certain government regulations. But the cost?  The terrorists have done a good job of it again in trying to bankrupt the US.

Of course with longer wait times at airports, many will again resort to trains or to their automobiles – or they might just stay home. Increasingly you hear people say that travel is just so difficult these days that it isn’t worth it. Regardless, Airline companies, already under financial pressure, will be suffering. Score one more for the terrorists.

Scanning is just a part of the problem. More cooperation in international exchange of information and agreements relative to screening procedures and practices are of equal import.

Finally database updates and further integration will help ferret out potential terrorists.

In the end, no matter the condition of the data base or effectiveness of a full-body scanner, the machines are only as good as their operators. The human judgment and skill levels vary – factors that ensure safety CANNOT be 100% guaranteed.


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