Out of Control Policy Blog

New at Reason.org: Aviation Security Gets an "F"

In today's New York Post Reason's Robert Poole writes:

The latest bin Laden tape was a grim reminder that terrorists are still probing for our weaknesses. So last month's 9/11 Commission report giving airline passenger-screening an "F" is a kick to the gut.

Why do our airports remain vulnerable? It's not lack of resources: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) earned that "F" despite spending nearly its entire $5.5 billion budget last year on passenger and baggage screening.

Nor is screening the only problem area. Access to planes and the tarmac, either through the airport fence or by thousands of on-airport workers, remains a weak point. We still don't check most carry-on luggage for explosives. And the security measures we've added – baggage-inspection machines, more checkpoints – make for more crowds, a likely suicide-bombing target.

Reason Foundation's year-long assessment of airport security concluded that these holes, and others, are due to three fundamental problems with TSA.

Full Column Here

Poole, who has advised the White House Domestic Policy Council and several members of Congress on aviation security, has a new study calling for a risk-based security system and for the TSA to give passenger and baggage sceening duties to airports, with the TSA acting as the "rule-setter and enforcer."

Full Study "Airport Security: Time for a New Model" Here
Reason's Airport Security Research and Commentary Here

Chris Mitchell is Director of Communications/Media Contact


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