Remember late in March how there was an imminent threat of terrorists only flying into America on Arab airlines (other than those from Saudi Arabia) with bombs that fitted into passenger carried laptops and other devices?
That hicksville approach to the undeniably vital issues of improving the security of flight brought forth all sorts of similarly intellectually challenged rent seekers at the hysterical end of the passenger safety spectrum, some perhaps genuinely believing the threat wasn’t just an invention dreamed up to harm the business interests of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.
Well, confronted by the opposition of EU carriers, and the now clearly articulated concerns of US carriers, there are more signs of the Trump Administration trying to save face and get out of the mess it has made for itself.
This Bloomberg report, best found by Googling the headline “US seeking ways to head off full laptop ban on Airline flights” or with a slightly different but also well reported analysis by Reuters, could be of interest, especially when reading between the lines.
While security and terrorism risks are profoundly important, they need smarter policies than those that assume terrorists wouldn’t have discovered travel agents, or booking engines, or the way to enter the US through hundreds of city combinations bypassing those wicked Middle East airlines representing countries in which the President doesn’t have financial interests like Saudi Arabia.
The logical consequences of the original and since ‘under siege’ US policy initiatives, which included packing fire prone consumer carried lithium-ion batteries out of reach under cabin floors, would be very serious potentially lethal fires on passenger flights, or pandering to the notion that all civilian flying needed to be banned. (Extreme Yes, but watch some of the US interviews with Administration officials and take a deep breath.)
The solution now struggling towards daylight in the collective brilliance of the Trump administration appears to be to make existing security procedures ‘better’ or ‘more thorough’. Or the bans will go ahead, and the consequences even for Australia-US flights would have a small percentage of us having to share chartered corporate jets, which avoid the full US security circus imposed on the general public, which no terrorist organisation would ever think of using for smuggling those micro-bombs which were such an immediate threat three months ago.