TSA Chief Guest Blogs on Aviation Daily

By | March 31, 2007

Last week, Kip Hawley, the head of the Transportation Security Administration submitted his own post to the people at Aviation Daily on the subject of employee screening and the recent increase in TSA activity in Florida.

You can have a look at the post in full. Here are some highlights and points

  • Terrorists are adaptive, patient, and intelligent. Thus security measures must not be consistent, they must be ever changing and unpredictable so a terrorist never knows what to expect. TSA will continue to rapidly deploy flexible, dynamic security teams to conduct random screenings that cannot be predicted or avoided.
  • The TSA prefers to keep its resources flexible and not dig in behind new measures targeted for an endless set of newly perceived vulnerabilities.
  • This is risk-based security. It’s not “sound bite” security. “Sound bite” security satisfies a particular security concern and is intended to be comforting to the public.
  • Employees everywhere can expect to encounter TSA screening at any time and at any place. Terrorists cannot base their plans on never being intercepted by a security operation. Airport employees are an important part of the security team and are valuable allies and they are not exempt from screening.

We agree with the TSA that being unable to predict security measures is the best way to maintain a higher level of security on a lower budget. The security measures necessary to protect everyone from every possible threat would be akin to a post-apocolyptic dystopia. Already some measures are considered excessive…ie the liquid and gel ban.

The TSA’s best move is investing in the techologies to speed security screening, for airports to invest in physical organization to expedite passengers through screening, as many terminal buildings were designed before the modern security needs came into existence. Change takes time…and bureacracies do not do change well. We are more optimistic about them trying to improve the existing processes than replace them with something totally different.

Author: Guru

Guru is the Editor of Flight Wisdom and a long time aviation enthusiast.