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Air Travel Security: Practical Industry Suggestions From Us

I am just a security guy, as are many others who will read this. Perhaps it is time us “simple” security guys got together and wrote some recommendations for air travel security? Get out your voice out there as an organized professional group which can in turn lobby for our professional recommendations.

I originally blogged about this in my blog, and expect most comments there, but feel free to comment here as well.

Then we can edit them, vote on them, and submit them to the government for consideration in the upcoming brouhaha of committee discussions.

Here are mine, just to get the ball rolling:


0. Review useless technologies which are there for beyond the security theater purposes (which do matter) and start eliminating bad projects. Your purpose in security theater was to maintain air travel and keep people calm, right?

1. An investment in better intelligence (no brainer)

2. Create an “always strip-search” list rather than just “no fly” list., so that lesser threats can be dealt with responsibly without compromising the usefulness of the no fly one. I am sure they already have one, but they should layer this rather than deal with extremes.

3. Hire better agents (education/ability… better pay). Should be a small increase per person, but it will cost a lot in total. Then again, how much do all the current b/s additions cost?

4. Yours?



1. Copy Israel’s air security training manual for agents. Israel’s tactics may not be able to scale to the US level, but the training can.

2. Stop panicking and alienating people, so they are calmer and you can more easily identify suspicious people, so that this new training is more effective. Heck, do it anyway. Send TSA agents to some workshop on being nice. Or make shifts shorter.

3. Put “human sniffer” walk-through machines in every airport, for international flights.

4. Buy the better brand of baggage screening & X-ray machines for international flights (remember the liquid issue with checking for explosives in the last scare?)

5. Some people suggested to start profiling and leave PC behind, but I’m not touching that.

6. Yours?

Some of these are very high cost. Some of these are (on scale) very low cost.

Some of these should replace other high-cost idiocies, such as creating two new mega-airports, which is sound security-wise, but will only add a hop to the threat to jump over, with the same silly tests in yet another airport, rather than add a filter. Or full-body scans which will be of limited help, and insult us all.

What are yours? Join the discussion!

By Gadi Evron, Security Strategist

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