August 24, 2004

Let's Get Bombed

Is it really a security risk if someone sneaks a fake bomb onto a plane? In this article, Yahoo reports on an English reporter who through a series of fakeries and lies was able to get a job as a baggage handler and then smuggle a fake bomb or bomb making equipment onto a plane at Birmingham International Airport. The reporter, Anthony France, used fake references to get a job as a baggage handler. Admittedly, that's pretty scary and yes I do believe that it is a bit of a security risk. You can read about his story here or you could just read my summary. He basically put together resume where one of his previous places of employment was completely made up. He had access to all kinds of places in the airport and smuggled bomb stuff onto a plane. How did he do that? When he set off the airports metal detectors, he explained that they went off because of his steel tipped boots and then got through.

The Yahoo article stated that the Department of Transport and or transportation officials are taking this quite seriously and have launched an "urgent investigation".

It would be nice if someone could catch the airlines doing something right. I remember learning when I was teaching that it was very important to catch children doing something right and then make a big fuss over it, in other words, to positively reinforce positive behavior. By bringing attention to this huge security mistake they are giving something negative too much attention, possibly hurting the travel industry even further, which could potentially make travelling even more expensive than it already is.

Instead, I would like to see a piece that positively reinforces what usually goes on in travel which is nothing more than people getting from one place to the other.

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