Airport Security Needs Consistency

November 19, 2010 Opinion

Oct. 29 was a scary day for British officials when they intercepted a cargo flight that was believed to be harboring a bomb at an airport in the East Midlands. As with the explosive found at an airport in Dubai, this explosive was found in an ink cartridge. Both bombs were on UPS cargo flights out of Yemen with their final destination as the United States. Britain does not have scanners (like the ones used in America) that can detect the special type of explosive used by the terrorists, causing many to question whether they knew for sure that the devices were explosive.

Regardless of if they intentionally disarmed the bomb or if it was an accident, the point is that there was still a major bomb threat that almost went undetected due to lax security overseas. According to the Christian Science Monitor, there is a lot less screening for international cargo flights than there is for any U.S. flight, which is how bombs have slipped through the cracks before.

Personally, I find this story alarming. I am happy that Britain somehow managed to keep the bombs from continuing their journey to the U.S., but I am not impressed with their lack of knowledge when it comes to the more sophisticated explosives. One would think that with all of the machines and scanners people are subjected to just to get to their gates, officials would put more effort into cargo flights as well. At Orlando International Airport, as well as other airports all over the country, there are various security procedures one must undergo before flight including full body and luggage scans and detection dogs. Yet there is still a lack of knowledge regarding the extent of progress terrorists have made since 9/11.

I just do not understand why officials do not follow the same strict regulations for cargo flights and use the same technology on the parcels that they do on the passengers. I am no expert, but it would only make sense for terrorists to experiment with more sophisticated bombs and use more creative ways to transport them.

The fact that Britain had not even heard of the type of explosive that came from Yemen is disconcerting. Every country should be on the same page when it comes to new threats so that if this type of situation comes up in the future (and I pray that it does not), there will be no doubt about whether disarming the bomb was intentional or not.

As for the aforementioned body scanning machines at Orlando International, I would rather go through the hassle of taking a few minutes to walk through it and be cleared to fly than to go onto a plane uncertain about if I am safe or not.

Airport security was made for a reason and even if it is just for a cargo flight, it must be as effective as possible.

About Julia Campbell

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