Patt Morrison for October 28, 2010

No shoes, no belt, no airplane: is it time to think about loosening airport security?

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Michael Nagle/Getty Images

Passengers place their belongings in bins before passing through the passenger security checkpoint at John F. Kennedy International Airport in the Queens borough of New York City.

Raising objections on grounds of privacy concerns, fraud and just plain waiting in long lines, European airlines and safety officials began criticizing American airport security standards yesterday, after the chairman of British Airways criticized Washington for not imposing certain safety restrictions on domestic flights that it requires from flights to and from the United States. Chairman Martin Broughton was especially irritated by the requirement that passengers take off their shoes and remove their laptops from their luggage during security checks and called for the practice to be abandoned altogether, calling it “redundant”. It’s preaching to the choir to the millions gearing up for holiday travel this season, but can—and should—anything be done to streamline airport security without making it less stringent? Some European executives yesterday called for more hi-tech scanning machines to replace procedural safety measures like requiring passengers to pack liquids separately—that might not fly in this economy, but is there room to consider an overhaul of the current safety regulation?


Rafi Ron, CEO of New Age Security Solutions; former director of security at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport

Fred Gevalt, former publisher of The Air Charter Guide and Executive Producer of Please Remove Your Shoes, a documentary about the Transportation and Security Agency

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