It only takes one incident to get our attention, again
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 5:02 AM
Remember Jaws. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water. Then another shark appeared ruining that plan. The same could be said for air travelers after this past Friday.
Just as travelers were becoming accustomed to increased airport security after 911, they get additional measures to go through after an attempted incident over the Christmas Holiday. And these measures hit just as many Christmas travelers were preparing to return home after the holiday season lengthing their stay in airports. And although the government may reduce some of these measures as the days go by the finger pointing has already started as to how a man on the governments watch list was able to board a plan without being more throughly searched.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said a review of air safety on two fronts will likely occur saying the government will investigate its system for placing suspicious travelers on watch lists and for detecting explosives before passengers board flights. Both good ideas, but something that should have been done well before this latest incident.
In the wake of 911 and other potential attacks on planes some of these measures should have already been in place. For instance if you have a 'watch list' and a persons name appears on it you would think they would use a little more caution than what they did in allowing this man on a plane with 278 other people. And if it took some time to clear this passenger before boarding, it would be well worth it to arrive a little late than not at all. To allow this person to pass without the slightest bit of extra searching should lead to a little more training on the part of airport security in how to handle this type of situation.
After 911 the need for added security at airports was supposed to mean better security at airports. However, it seems the system does not pick up everything as this traveler was able to attach a potential bomb to his body and board this plane. All this means is that the x-ray machines at airports can not catch everything. And in the wake of this incident it will be the passengers that pay as officials are once again using aggressive searches to keep air travel safe. One has to wonder how long these stricter measures will be enforced. Probably until we all start to feel safe again.
No one will argue there has to be a way to keep everyone safe with minimal effort. Just what these procedures are will be discussed in the upcoming days by our government officials. For now we just have to hope these measures in place are soundly followed and they will help ease the minds of travelers as they fly home from holiday visits.