The TSA considered ending security screening at some of the smallest airports but lawmakers killed the idea.
- No one is going to bother wasting a terrorist act on a 19 seat plane out of a market with zero media.
- A hijacked 30 seat plane isn’t the same risk to infrastructure that a Boeing 757 is.
So TSA would screen passengers at their connecting point — where they already had resources in place. There’s a limit to how much TSA can do, so it’s always best to deploy resources against bigger threats.
But just like when TSA wanted to permit knives and golf clubs through security so they could focus on guns and explosives, Congress demanded more security theater and less security.
Though this is just now getting play, it isn’t a new story.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., upon the request of local leaders, is in ongoing discussions with Transportation Security Administration officials in an effort to return full-service security screening to the Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport and ensure PenAir can offer commercial air service as planned to local passengers in 2016.
TSA has proposed that Klamath area passengers board the SAAB 340 — a 30-seater aircraft — in Klamath Falls and utilize passenger and baggage screening on arrival in Portland International Airport.
This just resurrects something that’s been quite common in aviation, in the US and abroad.
- At least into the 1980s commuter airlines flying intra-California didn’t have security screening at all at least flying between small airports like Santa Rosa and San Luis Obispo.
- Departing Bora Bora for Tahiti I didn’t go through any screening. I’d have to pick up my bags and go through screening if I was going to connect to an international flight, however.
- To this day many domestic New Zealand flights, operated by turboprops, do not have security screening.
- And of course you don’t get screened when flying private.
How you do it is simple. Passengers do not go through security at the small airport. On arrival they get bused to the main terminal, outside security, so if they’ve got a connection they have to clear security before taking another flight.
You save setting up a full TSA infrastructure when you aren’t going to screen even 200 passengers a week.
Sometimes TSA really does try to do the right thing and even then aren’t allowed to do it. This actually does make sense, but it would never make the light of day in the rush to grandstand. The narrative isn’t great for TSA which is why it was killed quickly. But from a relative risk standpoint, and focusing on real threats, it’s not the dumbest idea they’ve had for sure.
Playmobil Airport Security Playset — Traditional Metal Detector