A step in the right direction???

Maybe, but I still can't help thinking it's more PR than actual security.

When will the TSA/FAA finally get it?

Security was never breeched on 9/11 (well with the exception of the fact most of the baddies were on watchlists/red flagged and were still sold tickets and boarded).

It's going to take more than hiring a bunch of barely literate, minimum wage morons and training them to harass unifomed flight crews, hot women and old folks to "secure" our airports and aircraft. Then they'll need to realize that we live in a free society and that in a free society nothing can be 100$ secure (hell even in a non-free society nothing can be 100% secure).
Not at all.

This system ties into the "terrorist" watch lists etc. Now in theory it's a great idea, but already a couple of people have been barred from flights because their names appeared on this list.

What did they do to warrent this honor? Were they terrorists? Foreign nationals? Nope, they were members of the democratic party and of the ACLU.

Now the government claims it was all a big mistake, but me I don't trust the government (right now anyway) at all.

So...I'm going to have agree with pilot602 on this one. The government needs to figure out how to do security right, and unlike what a lot of people advocate we can't do our security like Isreal (El Al) does.

The government needs to start trusting it's citizens at large. Apart from the few exceptions (McVeigh, DC Sniper, etc.) the citizens of the U.S. mind their own business and don't have any militant intentions. So trust us Uncle Sam. Let us walk our loved ones to the gate etc. Second, keep those who would want to do us harm OUT OF THE F***KING COUNTRY!!

I'm not advocating closing the borders, but if the government is going to continue to let people in from hostile nations, then they need to keep close tabs on them. Maybe a form of probabtion etc. Have a government agent make regular visits with imigrants. This might also serve to help people learn the ropes of living in the U.S.. I know the guy I work with from India could have really used that. So much really just perplexes this guy. There would only be two ways to get these guys out of your life: Go back to where you came from, or become a citizen.

We're a nation of immigrants so we can't just keep the world out. That would be hypocritical. But at the same time we need to protect those people who wish to live here in peace without completely throwing out the Bill of Rights.

Maybe next year.

Naunga I have to take issue with the dems and ACLU comment. Don't forget that those two organizations are the prime reason why we "federalized" screening anf got the TSA!

Remember? Daschle said, "In order to professionalize, we must federalize ..."
Nope, sorry Tenney, we got the TSA - and the department of Homeland Securoty, whish was planned along with the TSA - because Bush wanted a new, overarching agency that would "facilitate communication between the agencies we already have." Tom Ridge is also a close buddy of the W. And, at the time the Repubs controlled the house, senate and whitehouse - still do.

Can't blame the dems for this mess.

Of course, you're right, that many of them supported it but this is a Republican FUBAR through and through.

And screeners SHOULD be federal employees. The problem is the government (under Bush) doesn't want to pay squat and then turned around and simply re-hired the morons that were there in the first place. So now, all we have are federal morons. Federalization in and of itself means nothing.
I'm not making any commentary about the dems or the ACLU. IMHO, they (like most groups) do good and bad.

My point was that these individuals were associated with these two groups and suddenly end up on a list of people who pose a threat to the airlines.

It doesn't look right when both of those groups hold beliefs that are contrary to those of the current administrations.

That's all I was saying.

Although, now you've peeked my curiosity. The dems did help with the federalized security I don't dispute that, but how did the ACLU? Or did you misspeak when you said, "Don't forget that those two organizations are the prime reason why we "federalized" screening anf got the TSA!"


The thing that realyl chafes me about security is the fact that no one in power seemed to make an effort to ask the frontline people their opinions.

They should have spoken with pilots, flight attendants, gate agents, etc and queried them about suggestions.

I hate to say it because some knuckledragging terrorist might be reading this thread, but there are so many things that I see on an average day at work that I've got to bite my tongue about.

Primarily, I think the problem with security is that we turned it over to a federal government that really has no interest, or better yet a clue about what it takes to make flying truly secure (and I'm talking bi-partisan).

But the problem was that if you left it in the hands of private business, they seem more than willing to 'play the odds' than spend of money to effectively screen passengers.

If you turn it over to government, then they create a bureaucracy, people with important sounding titles and appropriations committees and lose sight of the target.

If you let the airlines handle it, it's going to be the cheapest, most "wafer-thin" process to maximize profits. If you leave it to the government, you're going to get billions of dollars, only of which 5% of that goes for security and the rest goes for monolithic bureaucracies, non-related projects and, in the case of the TSA, fancy digs in Vail.
And screeners SHOULD be federal employees. The problem is the government (under Bush) doesn't want to pay squat and then turned around and simply re-hired the morons that were there in the first place. So now, all we have are federal morons. Federalization in and of itself means nothing.

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I can't disagree with that, but I'll take it a step further and say that screening should be done my the Coast Guard. Isn't their mission to protect our coast. I know it's a matter of perspective, but airports are borders since they basically serve as a point of entry from one place into another.

My 2 cents.

I actually thought the exact same thing about the CG. Or at the very least turn it over to local PDs. But they can barely afford to staff enough cops as it is let alone gear up to secure an airport of any decent size.
Actually I have the solution...

If you watch the TSA screeners it obvious.

Keep anyone over the age of 60 of of the airliners.

I can't tell you how many times I see grandma gettin' strip search by the TSA. So those senoir citizens must be some threat. Let's keep them off the planes.

Or why not just have a group of doctors at the gates who fully sedate and restrain everyone on the flight.

And by the TSA's logic that would include the pilots....I mean they might try to take control of the aircraft.

Okay....sarcasism over.

Sorry guys I had to throw those in.

The TSA was voted in by the senate 52-48. 50 dems and 2 repubs voted yes. 48 repubs voted no.

And no we should not have federal screeners. It should be privatized. Gov't is way too big as it is, and now these TSA jerks have no accounatbility since they cant be fired.
However, security largely was in the hands of private enterprise before 9/11 and consider the "quality" before. I just don't trust that corporate America will target enough resources to make a a better, more secure system.

Some of the guys working the pre-screening are just contract employees and I was able to bully my way past one guy when I was wearing civvies in SEA. I hated to do that, but I had a 12 minute connection to PHX!

In my opinion, there has to be one consistent standard across the board and I think the federal government more or less threw a bunch of dineros at a 'czar' and said, "Do SOMETHING". I think they shoud take a "Noahs Ark"-style approach to improving security.

Get some frequenty travelers, pilots, flight attendants, "below the wing" employees, gate agents, "average Joe" TSA workers and a tape recorder. Go order some Chinese takeout and some PBR and just listen for as long as people are willing to participate.

I bet the 'powers that be' would have a much better understand at what truly needs to get done.
"Quality" in gate security? I don't think it's really necessary do you Doug? I mean they aren't there to really CATCH anyone! We as pilots know it's just a dumb show to "ease the fear" of the unknowing traveling public. The deterrant factor is more important than quality.

I know of several ways to get serious weapons past security. Several. None of them involve any serious espionage or planning, either.

Since I want the airports to be safe for as long as possible, I will not mention any of them here.

I'm sure you airline types are fully aware of what I am talking about, too.

In short, the TSA has just made airline flying more of a hassle than it already was. And now, since they are government employees, they are practically immune to serious discipline, hence they have no accountability whatsoever.
"Quality" in gate security? I don't think it's really necessary do you Doug? I mean they aren't there to really CATCH anyone! We as pilots know it's just a dumb show to "ease the fear" of the unknowing traveling public. The deterrant factor is more important than quality

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You're exactly right, but the thing is, we stil need them. Look, the folks travelling need to feel safe. They need to feel that the bad guys are being screened out and that we've got folks in place who are trained to prevent terrorists from taking over airplanes again.

And I gotta say that the TSA is a hell of a lot better than the rent a cops were. Of course, when you offer $35K with benefits versus six bucks an hour and no benefits, the quality of applicant increases as well.

The best security would be finding bin Laden and putting a bullet in his head. But until we do that, we need to show the public -- and keep in mind that they really don't understand aviation -- that we're doing something. That's what the TSA is good for.
I'm not so sure. I've gotten rather sour on the TSA in the past year. And maybe the whole thing will fade into the background in a year or two. But I'm thinking that besides the screeners needing to be federalized for consistancy( like the post office) 9-11 is just the price we pay for an open society.
We might have been able to stop 9-11, a police state would have had a better chance, are we willing to take that step?? Can we say that 9-11 would not, can not happen today? How can one stop the lone gunman who cares not about their life?
And I'm speaking as a conservative who voted for the Pres. and is nervous by the Patriot act. Whats next, Loyalty Oaths?? (go back and watch a scene from Kubricks 2001.)
Perhaps its not the TSA so much as all the talk that makes the airwaves and the feeling that "there must be something we can do"
::stepping down off of soap box, feeling much better::
Pre 9/11 I worked for a couple of different airliners in different locations. I worked as a ramp worker in HNL and had free access to the airplanes and tarmac. I could get behind the lines without never having gone through any security checks whatsoever.
Most recently I worked for the big airline here in MSP and again I could get in the airport without getting screened one time. Because we were employees we could park in the pilot lot and catch the bus that would take us to the apt from the backside and again, no checks.
I know they are working on security from the front side, but they should not forget those that have free access to the back side as well.
Let me throw this question out.

Inspite of the few problems that have been reported, the Disney parks are supposed to have great security. In my limited experience I know this to be true first hand (it's a long story, but basically my Dad was a HS Band director. Trip to Disney student decides to shoplift I'm sure you can fill in the rest). The beauty of their security is that it's invisible.

IMHO, it's the security that you can't see that's the most effective, because people can't observe it and determine how to get around it.

As I've pointed out before, the 9/11 hijackers didn't sneak through security. They bought tickets and knew the rules of what they could and couldn't take on the planes. So right there the: "can't get on the concourse without a ticket" wouldn't have stopped 9/11 from happening. All these guys had purchased tickets. The rule about no boxcutters would have, but if a terrorist organization decides to hijack another US airliner, they'll simply find something else to use as a weapon. I mean John Cusack used a ballpoint pen to kill a guy in Gross Pointe Blank. So there's plenty of things that are legal to take on a plane that could be used as weapons.

They can plan ways around the gate checks and the screeners because they can come to the airport and watch the procedure.

So if we want to keep another hijacking from happening we need to hide our security. The Air Mashals are a great idea. But there needs to be more than just that, and unfortunately IMHO I can't see how we can keep these guys off the planes. So the security needs to be improved ON THE PLANE. Reinforced cockpit doors - good idea, Air Marshals - good idea, how about security and self-defense training for FA's, how about seatbelts that will not release when the fasten seatbelt sign is on (of course there'd be releases for emergencies etc.), how about a light board (if it's not there already) that tells the FA's who doesn't have their seat belt fastened. Just some thoughts off the top of my head.

As I see it there are two ways to protect the planes:

1. Make it impossible to get into the cockpit.
2. Restrict the movement of passengers inflight.

I will say that we need the security checkpoints to check for explosives and the odd redneck who's going to try to carry on his 12 guage, but they are not going to stop the real, determined, and well-trained terrorist from getting on the plane.

My 2 cent as usual.