Con­fi­dence in air­line se­cu­rity shaken

The Compass - - OPINION - — Bill West­cott is a res­i­dent of Clarke’s Beach

Since the in­cred­u­lous dis­ap­pear­ance of the Malaysia Air­lines Flight MH370 just about ev­ery­one is think­ing AND ques­tion­ing air travel and se­cu­rity. A while ago it was take off your shoes, frisk­ing, then they in­tro­duced full body scans and in re­cent years no liq­uids or jells are al­lowed on­board with­out be­ing spe­cially bagged in reg­u­la­tion-sized sealed for­mat.

More and more It seems these mea­sures are only mi­nus­cule.

A larger com­mit­ment

Gov­ern­ments and air car­ri­ers of all stripes need to make a larger com­mit­ment if they hope to boost pas­sen­ger safety and to bet­ter man­age air­port s ecu­rity re­sources.

I was amazed to learn that last year Interpol re­ported, pas­sen­gers around the world were able to board planes more

All this tech­nol­ogy is not work­ing the way it should. Flight MH370 has sadly proven that.

than one bil­lion times with­out hav­ing their pass­ports checked against the registry.

What­ever hap­pened to Flight MH370 is ab­so­lutely mind-bend­ing. The pass­port is a build­ing block of se­cu­rity. But is it?

How a jumbo jet with 239 pas­sen­gers and crew can dis­ap­pear af­ter an hour into flight and re­main miss­ing for days de­spite a global search ef­fort in­volv­ing more than 80 air­craft and ships from at least 10 na­tions bog­gles the mind.

These days tech­nol­ogy en­ables people to lo­cate a miss­ing cat or dog or change the com­bi­na­tion of the locks on front doors from thou­sands of miles away.

But, all this tech­nol­ogy is not work­ing the way it should. Flight MH370 has sadly proven that. The click of a switch cut­ting off all com­mu­ni­ca­tions with air traf­fic con­trol ques­tions the whole air­line se­cu­rity sys­tems both on the ground and in the air.

Are we liv­ing in a fool’s par­adise? We can’t tell. The fright­en­ing ques­tion is: who will be the next vic­tim of false se­cu­rity in our air­ports and on­board?

Only time has the an­swer.

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