Airport Security Solution: Profiling Travelers?

Such an increase in security would not only likely add to travelers' time but also cost the government and the flying public millions of dollars. Right now, TSA airport screener salaries start at about $25,000 a year. Hiring the highly-trained college graduates that Yeffet suggests would cost significantly more than that.

Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the lobbying and trade group for the travel industry, said that "it is no secret" that today's security procedures are not "as efficient and effective as travelers and our country demand."

Dow has called for a comprehensive look at all aspects of our airport security.

"There's not a magic bullet called profiling. There's not a magic bullet called body scanning. It's all the pieces have to come together: technology, canines, psychological and data sharing," he said. "When it comes to profiling, I think there are things that should have been done but that common sense has gotten in the way of."

Dow said that Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab, who allegedly attempted to blow up a Northwest plane on Christmas, bought a one-way ticket, paid cash and had no checked baggage.

"If that doesn't scream 'take another look' then I don't know what does," Dow said. "We should be profiling by the common-sense things that the experts know work, whether it's behavioral, or practices."

However, he warned that such moves need to be balanced with privacy concerns, speeding up the flying process and not scaring away millions of people who fly each year.

Terrorism Profiling: Better Than Any Scanner?

The American Civil Liberties Union questions if profiling, body scanners or any new security measure will make flying safer -- or would just make us feel better.

The key issue there is whether any measure that they take enhances security," said Michael Macleod-Ball, acting director of the ACLU's legislative office in Washington, D.C. "There is no doubt that any measure that might be adopted by the government now will reduce our individual freedoms."

Macleod-Ball said that with any new security measure, the benefits must be balanced with the loss of freedom.

"We would say that the tradeoff is generally not worth it primarily because we know there is an impact on civil liberties and privacy but we don't know whether in fact there is an effectiveness to these measures," he said.

Rafi Ron, the former director of security at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport and now head of New Age Security Solutions, said that we can actually provide security with technology at checkpoints and baggage checks "doesn't seem to be working."

"The concept behind what they are doing right now has proven to fail us repeatedly," Ron said.

If we want to deliver the same level of check to 100 percent of passengers within a reasonable time period and cost, he said, then it will be a "relatively low level of search."

The only practical solution, he said, is to profile somebody based on their behavior.

Ron also emphasized that profiling should not be based on race or ethnicity.

For instance, he said that your gut instinct would be that a Palestinian or another Arab would attack Tel Aviv's airport.

However, in 1972 it was members of the Japanese Red Army who used machine guns to kill 24 people in the passenger arrival area.

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