March 17, 2014
AND TRAVEL WOULD BE A BIT LESS MISERABLE AN EXPERIENCE:Enhanced airport security may waste money, study says (Hugo Martín, March 16, 2014, LA Times)
"It may be time to reduce security," said John Mueller, a professor of political science at Ohio State University who wrote the report with Mark G. Stewart, a civil engineering professor at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
Mueller and Stewart conclude that airports are not good targets for terrorists and that the odds of being killed in an airport attack are extremely long. Their study, titled "Cost-benefit analysis of airport security: Are airports too safe?," appeared in the March edition of Journal of Air Transport Management.
The study relied on cost and risk reduction numbers for LAX but were calculated before the Nov. 1 rampage by a gunman who killed Transportation Security Administration agent Gerardo Hernandez, 39, and wounded several others. Mueller said the shooting did not change his cost analysis.
The Mueller-Stewart study looked at several potential threats, including a gunman, a suitcase bomb, a truck bomb and a bomb strapped to a person. The professors also looked at the cost and effectiveness of such security measures as adding more bomb-sniffing dogs, and installing permanent vehicle search checkpoints and shatterproof glass and blast deflection walls at the airports.
Using cost-analysis computations, the study concluded that the cost of such measures would not be justified, considering they would not completely eliminate the threat.
"Moreover, if the analysis suggests that enhancement of airport security is highly questionable, it may well be time to consider if many of the security arrangements already in place to protect airports are excessive," the report said.
Posted by Orrin Judd at March 17, 2014 3:25 PM
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