You are currently viewing archive for September 2006
Posted by: athomas
The historically under-performing baggage screening system is now being pushed further into the breech as increasing numbers of checked bags threaten to tip it over the precipice

Click to read further analysis here.
Posted by: athomas
Brian Sullivan's recent op-ed in the New York Daily News hits the nail on the head when it comes to the TSA's intransigence regarding the sharing of non-security related material.

Click to read the article here.

Keep up the great work Brian!
Posted by: athomas
Reinforced Cockpit Door: B+
Still opened far too often during flight, providing a gateway for suicidal terrorists

Flight Attendant Training: C-
No one wants to pay for it. Airlines are broke and the Feds don?t think it is a priority.

Handling of Air Rage Cases: D
Still a major threat. No standards in place for law enforcement to deal with it. Is it TSA, FBI, local police? Nobody knows.

Federal Air Marshals: D-
The poster child for post-9/11 knee jerk reactions. Billions wasted, hasty recruiting, reduced training, horrible management, and complete lack of clarity as to FAMs mission.

Federalized Screeners: C
Most front-line folks are personally motivated. Equipment and training they receive are questionable. Management can be brutal. Still focus too much on bad things rather than bad people.

Explosive Detection Systems: C-
19th Century X-ray technology was never the right tool to find explosives. Better technologies have been tortuously slow to arrive.

Cargo screening: D-
Woeful. Trusted Shipper Program is only a band aid, and a very insufficient one at that.

Airport Access Control: F
Thousands of illegals and criminals ?discovered? each year working in secure areas of the nation?s airports. Only a matter a time before this weakness becomes a tragedy.

Public Access Area Security: C
Inconsistent. Some airports are doing a good job protecting the open areas of the airports from the risk of package bombs and vehicle bombs. Other airports are doing little or nothing. A tinder box.

TSA Senior Management: D
Actually improving ? but remains on probation and close to flunking out. Kip Hawley is doing a better job than his predecessors, who were some of the worst leaders anywhere. However, until there is true accountability within the Agency, very little substantive change can ever take place.

U.S. Congress: F
After all the bluster, Congress has dropped the ball on its primary function: oversight. Billions of tax dollars have gone missing in the TSA sinkhole and aviation security is not much better.

Overall grade: D
Although there have been a few improvements over the past 5 years- notably in reinforcing the cockpit door and paying screeners better- most glaring aviation security vulnerabilities remain. For all of their patience and money, the American people have not come close to getting even a marginal return on their investment.

Future Outlook:
9/11 was the direct result of an aviation security system set-up to fail. History has already repeated itself. The threat remains. It is only a matter of time before another major attack on America?s air transport system takes place.