Thursday, April 23, 2009

More air security for what?

Airlines and airports think it's unnecessary, but it doesn't matter. Government security goons are keen on it, because it will mean they get more money and more power, growing in influence.

According to the NZ Herald up to 14 extra airports could get security screening, but it isn't for terrorists. No. It is to cover drunk people (who surely can be dealt with without everyone being screened), the mentally ill (who airlines should be able to discriminate against, if it weren't for the Human Rights Act) and the disaffected.

I called for a serious cost/benefit analysis of the measure, if only because I believe the delays, and inconvenience to travellers (simple things like stopping people taking water on flights) will outweigh the risk, particularly if other options are selected.

Take this comment from Ray Dumble, chief executive of Tauranga Airport Authority, who said the government is "using a boulder to crush an ant".

"To me the action is potentially disproportionate to the actual problem. But, like anything, it's a business cost which will be passed on ... in the end it will be the poor old passenger who pays."

It's simple. In the UK thousands of trains travel every day without ANY security screening, some go up to 125 mph carrying over 250 passengers at a time - and passengers are screened for nothing. If this can be sustained every day in a country with far more serious terrorism (and domestic anti-social behaviour) problems than NZ, then we can let people fly from Napier, New Plymouth, Tauranga and Nelson without being harassed because 1 in 10,000 people who fly are mad or drunk.

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