Another threat, another box

The problem with new threats to aviation is that every time there is another threat, we get a new box at the checkpoint. At some point, we’re going to run out of space before we run out of threats.

While many in the industry, particularly TSA Federal Security Directors (FSD), are excited about the deployment of the whole body imagers, there are just as many people who are trying to figure out where to put them — they are called Airport Security Coordinators (ASC).

The WBI’s are about 3x as large as a walk-thru metal detector and take about 10x as long to process a passenger. There are two issues here. First, space. Second, time. Continue Reading

Suicide by Small Plane

We’re heard the term before – suicide-by-cop. This is where someone threatens the police with a gun to get the police to kill the individual. On February 18, we witnessed suicide-by-small-plane. We did not witness a terrorist attack. We barely witnessed an attack on a government building. Had Stack intended on causing mass casualties, he certainly did not pick an effective tool for the job.

What does this say about general aviation security? Should we be concerned? Want the solution? Read on. Continue Reading

Plane crashes into office building

The word is just coming out now about an airplane that crashed into an office building in Austin, TX.

Already the reporting is all over the place about the intentions of the pilot, how the plane was flying (“full throttle” by one account, but how does someone on the ground know the throttle settings of an plane?). Just like the Cory Liddle crash into an apartment in Manhattan, there is a ton of speculation going on.

General aviation security has been an issue for many years, with arguments on both sides about whether more security is needed. I’m sure this will also re-energize the Large Aircraft Security Program discussion.

First, understand that this has happened before. In 1994, a man stole a small Cessna aircraft and flew it into the White House. In 2002, a 16-year-old stole a Cessna 172 and flew it into the Bank of America building. Continue Reading

Jihadists continue to look for aviation security weaknesses

According to a CBS news report Jihadists continue to attempt to exploit gaps in aviation security. One website invites members to post methods of circumventing aviation security and how to bypass screening, while others ask about the capabilities of screening detection equipment. On one site a visitor asks a question involving the whole body imagers:… Continue Reading

Dirty Harry flies without his gun, so far

There are nearly 1 million State and Local Law Enforcement Officers (LEO’s) in the United States, however, under federal regulations many of them are not allowed to carry firearms on board a commercial aircraft. The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) has just asked the President Obama to allow appropriately certified federal, state and local officers to carry firearms on board commercial flights. Continue Reading

TSA officers to be informed; say, there’s a thought

TSA announced today that approximately 10,000 of their workers will began the process of getting Secret clearances so they can receive better intelligence related to the current threats. While I applaud TSA’s latest action, I’m stunned that it had not been done before. Remember, the passengers on United 93 were INFORMED about what the true intent of the hijackers was and that ENABLED them to take appropriate action. The passengers on the other flights did not have that data. Continue Reading

Hands down the pants, hands down the pants, looking like a fool with your hands down your pants!

Recently, travelers in Canada have been asked to stick their hands down their pants, or in their pockets, so that screeners can swab their hands (after the fact) to determine if there is residue from explosives. Also, according to one CATSA official (Canada’s version of the TSA) the “hands down the pants,” procedures is an international aviation security practice. Maybe that “pants on the ground” guy on American Idol can come up with some new lyrics to describe how foolish aviation security is getting. Continue Reading

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