Six Lines

Kip Hawley on Airport Security

Posted by Aaron Massey on 14 Apr 2012.

The Wall Street Journal has an excerpt from Kip Hawley’s upcoming book on airport security:

Any effort to rebuild TSA and get airport security right in the U.S. has to start with two basic principles:

First, the TSA’s mission is to prevent a catastrophic attack on the transportation system, not to ensure that every single passenger can avoid harm while traveling. Much of the friction in the system today results from rules that are direct responses to how we were attacked on 9/11. But it’s simply no longer the case that killing a few people on board a plane could lead to a hijacking. Never again will a terrorist be able to breach the cockpit simply with a box cutter or a knife. The cockpit doors have been reinforced, and passengers, flight crews and air marshals would intervene.

Second, the TSA’s job is to manage risk, not to enforce regulations. Terrorists are adaptive, and we need to be adaptive, too. Regulations are always playing catch-up, because terrorists design their plots around the loopholes.

The rest of the article makes for great weekend reading.

I like that Kip Hawley is so open and willing to talk about airport security issues. I enjoyed his extensive interview with Bruce Schneier back in 2007. I don’t always agree with him, but his opinion is worth reading. I’m looking forward to the book.